Epigenesis (biology)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For features that are stable over rounds of cell division but do not involve changes in the underlying DNA sequence of the organism, see Epigenetics.

In biology, epigenesis (or, in contrast to preformationism, neoformationism) is the process by which plants, animals and fungi develop from a seed, spore or egg through a sequence of steps in which cells differentiate and organs form.[1]

Aristotle first published the theory of epigenesis in his book On the Generation of Animals. Although epigenesis appears to be an obvious fact in today's genetic age, historically creationist theories of life's origins retarded its acceptance.[2] However, during the late 18th century an extended and controversial debate among biologists finally led epigenesis to eclipse the long-established preformationist view.[3][4] The embryologist Caspar Friedrich Wolff refuted preformationism in 1759 in favor of epigenesis, but this did not sound the death knell of preformationist ideology.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Heard, Edith (December 13, 2012). "Épigénétique et mémoire cellulaire". OpenEdition Books (in French). Collège de France. Retrieved June 10, 2016. 
  2. ^ Engelstein, Stefani (2003). "Reproductive Machines in E.T.A Hoffmann". In Henn, Marianne; Pausch, Holger A. Body Dialectics in the Age of Goethe. Amsterdam: Rodopi. p. 173. ISBN 9789042010765. Retrieved June 10, 2016. 
  3. ^ Baxter, Alice Levine (March 1976). "Edmund B. Wilson as a Preformationist: Some Reasons for His Acceptance of the Chromosome Theory". Journal of the History of Biology. 9 (1): 29–57. doi:10.1007/bf00129172. (subscription required (help)). 
  4. ^ Conference, Spallanzani's Biological Contributions 200 Years After His Death. New York: Columbia University. October 29, 1999. Archived from the original on April 12, 2001. Retrieved June 10, 2016.  Abstracts of papers presented.
  5. ^ Mayr, Ernst (1998). "What Is the Meaning of 'Life'?". This Is Biology: The Science of the Living World. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. p. 11. ISBN 9780674884694. Retrieved June 10, 2016. 

External links[edit]