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Towards a novel unifying theory of the genotype concept

AuthorsRicote-Hernández, David; Maeso, Ignacio
Issue Date1-Apr-2019
CitationEvolution evolving. Process, mechanism and theory (2019)
AbstractUnderstanding the Genotype-Phenotype (G-P) interdependence is fundamental for all biological fields. Surprisingly, discussions about the limits of the G-P dualism have been sidestepped by mainstream scientific discussions, despite the fact that both experimental practice (from mendelian genetics to -omics) and theoretical background (from phenomenology to information theory) have changed profoundlysince Johannsen first coined the term genotype in 1911. Indeed, multiple unresolved contradictions between the original G-P formulation and its current use are showing that explicit theoretical reevaluations are urgently needed. In particular, the so-called extragenetic inheritance phenomena have not been possible to accommodate to the genotype concept due to the current lack of a neat distinction between genotype and genome, excluding inherited epigenetic configurations as fundamental and integral parts of the genotypical identity of organisms. Here, we provide a novel proposal towards a unifying theory of genotype based on 4 objective and experimentally verifiable criteria (self-templating, translatability, plasticity and inheritability) that are able toaccount for all potential sources of biological inheritance as genotypic constitutions, from molecular structures to social behaviour. Our proposal follows a different path than previous related frameworks (such as the replicator concept) because it does not rely on information to delineate the boundary between genotype and phenotype, but on the evolvability conferred by a growing number of nested and interrelated genotypical systems. By doing so, we provide new solutions to several long-standing problems,from the periodic resurgences of lamarckian phantoms to controversies on biological levels and units of selection.
DescriptionResumen del trabajo presentado en el Evolution evolving. Process, mechanism and theory, celebrado en Cambridge (Grna Bretaña), del 1 al 4 de abril de 2019
Appears in Collections:(CABD) Comunicaciones congresos
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