Not by Our Genes Alone

Mauro Mandrioli


Recent discoveries in life sciences evidenced that changes in the composition of the microbiome and epigenetics represent two essential mechanisms at the basis of the biological evolution, since both allow a rapid change of the phenotype in response to both environmental and internal stimuli. Surprisingly, in the age of genomics we are discovering that each organism (and its evolution) cannot be explained by genes alone. The microbiome and the epigenetic machinery are frequently described as completely separate mechanisms, but actually symbionts may act as epigenetic sources of heritable variation so that genomes, epigenomes and microbiomes are not independent traits, but a tripartite driver of the biological evolution of all organisms.


evolutionary aesthetics; epigenetics; epigenetic inheritance; microbiome; metagenome

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