Comparative epigenomics: an emerging field with breakthrough potential to understand evolution of epigenetic regulation

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Epigenetic mechanisms regulate gene expression, thereby mediating the interaction between environment, genotype and phenotype. Changes to epigenetic regulation of genes may be heritable, permitting rapid adaptation of a species to environmental cues. However, most of the current understanding of epigenetic gene regulation has been gained from studies of mice and humans, with only a limited understanding of the conservation of epigenetic mechanisms across divergent taxa. The relative ease at which genome sequence data is now obtained and the advancements made in epigenomics techniques for non-model species provides a basis for carrying out comparative epigenomic studies across a wider range of species, making it possible to start unraveling the evolution of epigenetic mechanisms. We review the current knowledge of epigenetic mechanisms obtained from studying model organisms, give an example of how comparative epigenomics using non-model species is helping to trace the evolutionary history of X chromosome inactivation in mammals and explore the opportunities to study comparative epigenomics in biological systems displaying adaptation between species, such as the immune system and sex determination.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages34-54
    Number of pages21
    JournalAIMS Genetics
    Volume1
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Fingerprint

    epigenetics
    X chromosome
    immune system
    inactivation
    genes
    mammals
    phenotype
    gene expression
    history
    genome
    gender
    genotype
    organisms
    mice

    Cite this

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    abstract = "Epigenetic mechanisms regulate gene expression, thereby mediating the interaction between environment, genotype and phenotype. Changes to epigenetic regulation of genes may be heritable, permitting rapid adaptation of a species to environmental cues. However, most of the current understanding of epigenetic gene regulation has been gained from studies of mice and humans, with only a limited understanding of the conservation of epigenetic mechanisms across divergent taxa. The relative ease at which genome sequence data is now obtained and the advancements made in epigenomics techniques for non-model species provides a basis for carrying out comparative epigenomic studies across a wider range of species, making it possible to start unraveling the evolution of epigenetic mechanisms. We review the current knowledge of epigenetic mechanisms obtained from studying model organisms, give an example of how comparative epigenomics using non-model species is helping to trace the evolutionary history of X chromosome inactivation in mammals and explore the opportunities to study comparative epigenomics in biological systems displaying adaptation between species, such as the immune system and sex determination.",
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    author = "Janine DEAKIN and Renae DOMASCHENZ and Chloe LIM and Tariq EZAZ and Sudha RAO",
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    AU - DEAKIN, Janine

    AU - DOMASCHENZ, Renae

    AU - LIM, Chloe

    AU - EZAZ, Tariq

    AU - RAO, Sudha

    PY - 2014

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    AB - Epigenetic mechanisms regulate gene expression, thereby mediating the interaction between environment, genotype and phenotype. Changes to epigenetic regulation of genes may be heritable, permitting rapid adaptation of a species to environmental cues. However, most of the current understanding of epigenetic gene regulation has been gained from studies of mice and humans, with only a limited understanding of the conservation of epigenetic mechanisms across divergent taxa. The relative ease at which genome sequence data is now obtained and the advancements made in epigenomics techniques for non-model species provides a basis for carrying out comparative epigenomic studies across a wider range of species, making it possible to start unraveling the evolution of epigenetic mechanisms. We review the current knowledge of epigenetic mechanisms obtained from studying model organisms, give an example of how comparative epigenomics using non-model species is helping to trace the evolutionary history of X chromosome inactivation in mammals and explore the opportunities to study comparative epigenomics in biological systems displaying adaptation between species, such as the immune system and sex determination.

    KW - epigenetics

    KW - gene regulation

    KW - X inactivation

    KW - immune system

    KW - sex determination.

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