Inheritance Behavior in Corn Breaks Accepted Rules of Genetics
New research explains how certain traits can pass down from one generation to the next – at least in plants – without following the accepted rules of genetics.
Scientists have shown that an enzyme in corn responsible for reading information from DNA can prompt unexpected changes in gene activity – an example of epigenetics.
Epigenetics refers to modifications in the genome that don’t directly affect DNA sequences. Though some evidence has suggested that epigenetic changes can bypass DNA’s influence to carry on from one generation to the next, this is the first study to show that this epigenetic heritability can be subject to selective breeding.