Darwin-L Message Log 6:42 (February 1994)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

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<6:42>From ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu  Wed Feb  9 15:21:34 1994

Date: Wed, 9 Feb 1994 16:23:36 -0500
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu (Jeremy Creighton Ahouse)
Subject: Re: extragenetic inheritance

>KELLY SMITH asks about examples of non-nucleic acid based
>inheritance.  There are plenty of examples from cultural
>evolution, e.g., the inheritance of wealth.  (Such examples
>are where 'inheritance' originally appled--biologists adopted
>this cultural concept to apply to biology.)  But, presumably
>that is not the sort of example Smith wants.  Let me suggest
>a very plausible, fairly well documented, example and invite
>others to comment.  A number of plant studies have shown
>that larger seeds, regardless of genotype, produce plants that
>tend to produce more and larger seeds.  Thus seed size is
>shown to be a component of fitness, and heritable, and
>independent of genotype.  Is this the sort of example you

This reminds me of a "story" I heard that I have been trying to track
since.  It was about a plant species that has a large stature and small
stature morphotype.  The short is seen at the tops of hills the tall in the
valleys.  When a plant is transplanted from hilltop to the valley it takes
> 1 generation for the other morphotype to obtain.  This would suggest that
something "extra" genetic is going on.

        I do wish that I had a real reference for this...

        - Jeremy

        Jeremy Creighton Ahouse (ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu)
        Biology Dept.
        Brandeis University
        Waltham, MA 02254-9110
        (617) 736-4954

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