Chapter 14. Trans-Generational Epigenetic Inheritance

  1. Kathryn E. Hood2,
  2. Carolyn Tucker Halpern3,
  3. Gary Greenberg4 and
  4. Richard M. Lerner5
  1. Lawrence V. Harper

Published Online: 13 AUG 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444327632.ch14

Handbook of Developmental Science, Behavior, and Genetics

Handbook of Developmental Science, Behavior, and Genetics

How to Cite

Harper, L. V. (2010) Trans-Generational Epigenetic Inheritance, in Handbook of Developmental Science, Behavior, and Genetics (eds K. E. Hood, C. T. Halpern, G. Greenberg and R. M. Lerner), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444327632.ch14

Editor Information

  1. 2

    The Pennsylvania State University, USA

  2. 3

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA

  3. 4

    Wichita State University, USA

  4. 5

    Tufts University, USA

Author Information

  1. University of California, Davis, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 AUG 2010
  2. Published Print: 13 SEP 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405187824

Online ISBN: 9781444327632



  • trans-generational epigenetic inheritance;
  • experientially-induced phenotypic adjustments - one generation influencing phenotypes of succeeding generations;
  • phenotypic variation, within individuals - constrained by genetic inheritance;
  • gene regulation - dynamic process beyond a level of stochastic events;
  • DNA-binding affinities of clusters - function of enzymatically-mediated modifications of component histone proteins;
  • trans-generational epigenetic transmission;
  • phenomena of selective X chromosome inactivation and “genetic imprinting”;
  • contexts favoring trans-generational epigenetic inheritance;
  • traditional twin study designs - reduced estimates of genetic concordance in zygosity


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Background

  • Gene Regulation and Epigenetics

  • Trans-Generational Epigenetic Transmission

  • Implications and Conclusions

  • References