Systemic integration of different inheritance systems

Eva Jablonka*, Denis Noble

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The between-generations transmission of phenotypic variations is based on networks operating at different levels–genetic, epigenetic, behavioral and symbolic. Since each level involves a network of interactions, integrating such networks of networks may seem hopelessly complex. We suggest that the problem can be drastically simplified if analysis starts from a description of the heritable trait of interest as an attractor in a developmental landscape constructed by networks of inputs at underlying and overlying levels of organization. On this basis, further studies quantifying the different inputs that contribute to the between-generational re-construction of the trait can be made and enable the development of a systemic, dynamic and predictive model of inheritance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-58
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Systems Biology
StatePublished - Feb 2019


  • Canalization
  • Developmental systems theory (DST)
  • Heritably varying trait (HVT)
  • Inclusive inheritance
  • Inheritance systems
  • Landscape model
  • Price equation
  • Waddington


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