Intergenerational epigenetic inheritance in reef-building corals

11 February, 2020

​Unlike most mammals, we observed that methylation patterns in corals do not "reset" across generations. Also, we observed changes in DNA methylation patterns across sampling origin (Abu Dhabi vs. Fujairah) and developmental stages (adult vs. gamete vs. larva) that correlated with the underlying biology. Combined with our previous work that outlined the changes in methylation patterns in response to environmental challenges, this implies that corals that acclimatise better to stressors (e.g. warmer/saltier/more acidic waters) can pass down "epialleles" to their progeny that boosts survivability rates.