Genetics Research International

The Epigenetics of Emerging and Nonmodel Organisms

Publishing date
15 Jan 2012
Submission deadline
15 Jul 2011

Lead Editor

1Department of Biology, Mt. Allison University, Sackville, NB, Canada E4L 1G7

2School of Biological Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68588, USA

3Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University, 8888 Burnaby, BC, Canada V5A 1S6

4Evolutionary Genetics Group, University of Groningen, Building for Life Sciences, P.O. Box 11103, 9700 CC Groningen, The Netherlands

The Epigenetics of Emerging and Nonmodel Organisms


The field of epigenetics provides a new dimension in our understanding of the role of genetic information in development and evolution. The study of epigenetics includes all heritable changes in phenotype or gene expression that cannot be explained by modifications in the DNA sequence. The epigenetic pattern that instructs cell fate is essential for the normal development of all metazoans. Accordingly, the epigenetic status of genes and cells is necessarily flexible across ontogeny, among different life histories, and in response to environmental changes and stress. Our understanding of core epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation, histone modifications, noncoding RNA, and higher-order chromatin structures, has benefited from intensive work with model organisms. Recent technical advances allow for the description of epigenetic changes at both the gene and genome level in nonmodel organisms, leading to a greater understanding of the evolutionary conservation of epigenetic mechanisms, and conversely, of the variety of biological roles to which it has been adapted. This special issue seeks to explore epigenetics in emerging and nonmodel organisms.

We invite investigators to submit original research and review articles that will stimulate and focus research into the epigenetics of nonmodel organisms, in particular articles assessing the occurrence of these mechanisms, their evolutionary conservation, the correlation between epigenetics and diverse life history and reproductive strategies, the correlation between epigenetics and environmental changes, the role of epigenetics in evolution, and discussions of important future directions in this field. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Descriptions of epigenetic mechanisms in emerging and nonmodel organisms
  • Descriptions of unique patterns of epigenetic inheritance
  • The role of epigenetics in the life histories of emerging and nonmodel organisms
  • Epigenetics and environmental stress in emerging and nonmodel organisms
  • The evolutionary conservation of epigenetic mechanisms relative to epigenetic mechanisms described in model organisms
  • Descriptions of techniques for the analysis of epigenetic mechanisms in specific nonmodel organisms
  • Comparative studies of epigenetic mechanisms or epigenetic gene regulation in model, emerging, or nonmodel organisms
  • Discussion of the role of epigenetics in evolution

Articles published in this special issue will not be subject to the journal's Article Processing Charges.

Before submission authors should carefully read over the journal's Author Guidelines, which are located at Prospective authors should submit an electronic copy of their complete manuscript through the journal Manuscript Tracking System at according to the following timetable:

Article of the Year Award: Outstanding research contributions of 2020, as selected by our Chief Editors. Read the winning articles.