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The peculiar genetics of the ribosomal DNA blurs the boundaries of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance

Authors
  • Bughio, Farah1, 2
  • Maggert, Keith A.1, 2
  • 1 University of Arizona, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, College of Medicine, Tucson, AZ, USA , Tucson (United States)
  • 2 University of Arizona College of Medicine, University of Arizona Cancer Center, Tucson, AZ, USA , Tucson (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Chromosome Research
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Dec 04, 2018
Volume
27
Issue
1-2
Pages
19–30
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10577-018-9591-2
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
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Abstract

Our goal is to draw a line—hypothetical in its totality but experimentally supported at each individual step—connecting the ribosomal DNA and the phenomenon of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of induced phenotypes. The reasonableness of this hypothesis is offset by its implication, that many (or most) (or all) of the cases of induced-and-inherited phenotypes that are seen to persist for generations are instead unmapped induced polymorphisms in the ribosomal DNA, and thus are the consequence of the peculiar and enduringly fascinating genetics of the highly transcribed repeat DNA structure at that locus.

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