Epigenetics - Bridge between genome and environment

„…Just like on a piano keyboard, the genome in each cell of a living being is identical, whilst epigenetics determines the song that is played. In this cartoon, Ada tells us how epigenetics composes these songs. We learn more about wildlife, evolution, science, and about us as human beings.“

Can wildlife species adapt to changing environmental conditions? How do they cope with rising temperatures? And are they able to pass on their “experience” to their offspring?

For a long time, genetic adaptability of living beings was thought to be based entirely on changes in the building blocks of the genome passed on from one generation to another. Nowadays, however, there is evidence of mechanisms that cause the genome to respond flexibly to environmental factors – this is precisely what the field of epigenetics describes. Epigenetics builds a bridge between the genome and the environment.

Jaja-Verlag, Booklet, 17 x 24 cm, 28 colored pages, ISBN 978-3-946642-11-4


EPIGENETICS - Bridge between genome and environment
A science comic - The Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW)
Idea and concept: Dr. Alexandra Weyrich
Texts: Dr. Alexandra Weyrich und Olaf Nowacki
Translation into english: Steffen Walter and Armorel Young
Project coordination: Dr. Kathleen Röllig
Illustrations: Annette Köhn
Scientific advice: Dr. Miriam Brandt, Prof. Dr. Jörns Fickel, Prof. Dr. Heribert Hofer
Languages: German, English

This comic is based on the following article:

Weyrich A, Lenz D, Jeschek M, Chung TH, Rübensam K, Göritz K, Jewgenow, K, Fickel J (2015): Paternal intergenerational epigenetic response to heat exposure in male Wild guinea. Running Title: Paternal epigenetic response to heat. MOL ECOL – special issue Epigenetic Studies in Ecology and Evolution.