Abstracts (first author)

Invited Speaker 

Mapping the transgenerational epigenetic basis of complex traits in Arabidopsis

Author(s): Johannes F


Quantifying the impact of heritable epigenetic variation on complex traits is an emerging challenge in population biology. Here we analyzed a panel of nearly isogenic Arabidopsis lines which segregate experimentally induced DNA methylation changes genome-wide. We provide compelling evidence that a small number of transgenerationally stable differentially methylated regions (DMRs) act as bone fide epigenetic quantitative trait loci (QTL^epi) in this population, accounting for 60-90% of the observed heritability underlying two complex traits, flowering time and root length. We show that these QTL^epi are reproducible and can be subjected to artificial selection. Over 75% of the putative causal DMRs within the QTL interval are also variable in wild populations of this species and are not significantly associated with cis or trans acting SNPs. These sequence-independent DMRs may be an important source of phenotypic diversity in ecological settings and thus provide a basis for Darwinian evolution.


Chairman: Octávio S. Paulo
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XIV Congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology

Organization Team
Department of Animal Biology (DBA)
Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon
P-1749-016 Lisbon


Computational Biology & Population Genomics Group