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Evidence from Pyrosequencing Indicates that Natural Variation in Animal Personality is Associated with DRD4 DNA Methylation [Molecular Ecology]

Keywords : epigenetics, behaviour, personality, DNA methylation, birds

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Personality traits are heritable and respond to natural selection, but are at the same time influenced by the ontogenetic environment. Epigenetic effects, such as DNA methylation, have been proposed as a key mechanism to control personality variation. However, to date little is known about the contribution of epigenetic effects to natural variation in behaviour. Here we show that great tit (Parus major) lines artificially selected for divergent exploratory behaviour for four generations differ in their DNA methylation levels at the Dopamine Receptor D4 (DRD4) gene.(...)

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