AffiliationCell Plasticity & Epigenetics Lab, Cancer Research UK - Manchester Institute, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.
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AbstractThe evolution of organisms has been a subject of paramount debate for hundreds of years and though major advances in the field have been made, the precise mechanisms underlying evolutionary processes remain fragmentary. Strikingly, the majority of the core principles accepted across the many fields of biology only consider genetic information as the major - if not exclusive - biological information carrier and thus consider it as the main evolutionary avatar. However, the real picture appears far more complex than originally anticipated, as compelling data suggest that nongenetic information steps up when highly dynamic evolutionary frameworks are explored. In light of recent evidence, we discuss herein the dynamic nature and complexity of nongenetic information carriers, and their emerging relevance in the evolutionary process. We argue that it is possible to overcome the historical arguments which dismissed these carriers, and instead consider that they are indeed core to life itself as they support a sustainable, continuous source of rapid adaptation in ever-changing environments. Ultimately, we will address the intricacies of genetic and non-genetic networks underlying evolutionary models to build a framework where both core biological information concepts are considered non-negligible and equally fundamental.
CitationMoran KL, Shlyakhtina Y, Portal MM. The role of non-genetic information in evolutionary frameworks. Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 2021 May 4;56(3):255–83.
JournalCritical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
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