Speciation Journal Club: Adaptation to Global Change: A Transposable Element–Epigenetics Perspective
This thursday, at the Speciation Journal Club, we will discuss a paper on Adaptation to Global Change via Transposable Element and Epigenetics, by Rey et al. 2016 (Trends in Ecology and Evolution)
Adaptation to Global Change: A Transposable Element–Epigenetics Perspective
Understanding how organisms cope with global change is a major scientific challenge. The molecular pathways underlying rapid adaptive phenotypic responses to global change remain poorly understood. Here, we highlight the relevance of two environment-sensitive molecular elements: transposable elements (TEs) and epigenetic components (ECs). We first outline the sensitivity of these elements to global change stressors and review how they interact with each other. We then propose an integrative molecular engine coupling TEs and ECs and allowing organisms to fine-tune phenotypes in a real-time fashion, adjust the production of phenotypic and genetic variation, and produce heritable phenotypes with different levels of transmission fidelity. We finally discuss the implications of this molecular engine in the context of global change.