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Still Waters

Toxin-adapted fish pass down epigenetic mutations to freshwater offspring

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Still Waters

You can take a fish out of toxic water, but its epigenetic mutations will remain for at least two generations.

A research team led by Washington State University scientists analyzed the epigenetics—molecular factors and processes that determine whether genes are turned on or off—of a group of Poecilia mexicana fish, or Atlantic molly, that live in springs naturally high in hydrogen sulfide, which is normally toxic to most organisms.

The researchers removed a sample of fish from the toxic water and bred them in freshwater. They found that the grandchildren of the sulfidic-adapted fish had more epigenetic marks in common with their wild, toxic-water-living grandparents than other Atlantic molly that had always lived in freshwater.

https://phys.org/news/2021-06-toxin-adapted-fish-epigenetic-mutations-freshwater.html

https://www.pnas.org/content/118/26/e2014929118

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