Epigenetic Principles of Evolution

Epigenetic Principles of Evolution

2nd Edition - September 7, 2018

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  • Author: Nelson Cabej
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128140673
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128140680

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Epigenetic Principles of Evolution, Second Edition, fully examines the causal basis of evolution from an epigenetic point-of-view. By revealing the epigenetic uses of the genetic toolkit, this work demonstrates the primacy of epigenetic mechanisms and epigenetic information in generating evolutionary novelties. The author convincingly supports his theoretical perspective with examples from varied fields of biology, emphasizing changes in developmental pathways as the basic source of evolutionary change in metazoans. Users will find a broader view of the epigenetic mechanisms of evolution, moving beyond conventional changes in epigenetic structures, such as DNA methylation, histone modifications, and patterns of miRNA, sRNA, and mRNA expression. This second edition is thoroughly updated to reflect new evidence and developing theories in the field of evolutionary epigenetics. New and revised chapters speak to the epigenetic basis of heredity, epigenetic regulation of animal structure and homeostasis, neural manipulation of gene expression, central control of gametogenesis, epigenetic control of early development, the origin of epigenetic information, evolutionary changes in response to environmental stressors, epigenetics of sympatric evolution, and the epigenetics of the Cambrian explosion, among other topics.

Key Features

  • Adopts an integrative approach to examine the causal basis of evolution from an epigenetic point-of-view
  • Features new and revised chapters which reflect novel experimental and observational evidence in the field of evolutionary epigenetics, as well as alternative theoretical approaches
  • Offers a broad view of epigenetic mechanisms of evolution, moving beyond conventional changes in epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation, histone modifications, and patterns of miRNA, sRNA and mRNA expression


Evolutionary biologists, evolutionary geneticists, developmental biologists, biology graduates and post-graduates, palaeontologists, ecologists; physicians, clinicians, residents, postdocs, and graduate students in genetic and genomic medicine

Table of Contents

  • Part One - Epigenetic Basis of Heredity
    1. Biological Information and Epigenetic Regulation of Animal Structure and Homeostasis
    2. Neural Manipulation of Gene Expression
    3. Central Control of Gametogenesis
    4. Epigenetic Control of Early Development
    5. Neural Control of Post-phylotypic Development
    6. The Origin of Epigenetic Information and the Mechanisms of the Epigenetic Inheritance

    Part Two - Neural-Developmental Basis of Evolutionary Adaptation
    7. Evolutionary Changes and Stress Response to Changes in Environment
    8. Intragenerational Developmental Plasticity in Nature
    9. Behavioral Adaptation and Evolution of Innate Behaviors
    10. Ontogeny: The Workshop of Evolutionary Change

    Part Three – Epigenetics of Circumevolutionary Phenomena and the Mechanism of the Evolutionary Change
    11. Transgenerational Inheritance in Nature
    12. Experimental Transgenerational Inheritance

    Part Four – Epigenetic Modes of Metazoan Evolution
    13. Origins of Evolutionary Novelties and Innovations
    14. Evolution by Loss
    15. Evolution by Reverting to Ancestral Characters
    16. The Role of Neural Crest in Vertebrate in Evolution
    17. Allopatric Speciation in Animal Evolution
    18. Epigenetics of Sympatric Evolution
    19. Epigenetics of the Cambrian Explosion

Product details

  • No. of pages: 852
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2018
  • Published: September 7, 2018
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128140673
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128140680

About the Author

Nelson Cabej

Dr. Nelson R. Cabej is the author of Epigenetic Principles Of Evolution (Elsevier, 2011) and Building The Most Complex Structure On Earth (Elsevier, 2013), in which he examines the role of epigenetic mechanisms in organismal evolution. He has published more than 40 scientific articles and 10 books in English and his native language of Albanian on evolutionary biology, epigenetics, and developmental biology. Dr. Cabej earned his Ph.D. in biology at the University of Tirana, Albania, and presently serves as a researcher in the Department of Biology at the university. He has previously taught biology at William Paterson College, Wayne, N.J, USA.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Biology, University of Tirana, Tirana, Albania

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  • Prof. A. Sat Jan 16 2021

    Cabej's book "Epigenetic Principles of Evolution" is scientifically and interdisciplinary terrific

    As a biophysics professor, I am working on a fundamental paper on the physically determined function of thermoreceptors. In the process, I came across Prof. Nelson R. Cabej's book "Epigenetic Principles of Evolution". I was fascinated by the brilliance of the presentations of scientific relationships, the clarity of the statements and the "buoyant" (poetically) transition from such a difficult discipline as thermodynamics to biology, back to genetics, over to information theory, over to physiology, and a "schung" to biology back to physics and so on and so forth. I would like to venture to postulate that hardly any scientist of the present day has the ability to express himself substantially in such a deep way, stretched out over such very different subjects. The paper I am currently working on requires just such a dynamic. Therefore, I am humbly grateful for the "information" that has come to me without, informatically speaking, transmission loss. As a physicist with decades of interdisciplinary scientific work between solid state physics, biophysics, physics, biology, medicine, engineering and even instrument design, I know exactly what this author's achievement means. It means the distinct ability, similar to an eagle (poetically), to fly from one tree of the primeval forest of human knowledge to the next, to land there safely, to use its "Free Energy" and to convert it into genetic and epigentic information in order to be able to continue the flight to the next tree. Thank you. Thank you for your book, Dr. Cabej and the love and effort you put into it in a fast paced time like today. As someone who lived half of his current life during the "Cold War" in East Germany, I see strong parallels between your life and mine. One of them is the completion of the PhD late in life by Western standards, you at 47 still in Tirana, I at 39 in Aachen, West Germany.Two attempts to obtain the PhD were denied to me while still living in the GDR. Nevertheless, we live and work and today we are happy with our work and our life! Nobody managed to stop us.We are there-we still exist!. Thank you.