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Title: Do social insects support Haig's kin theory for the evolution of genomic imprinting?
Authors: Pegoraro, Mirko
Marshall, Hollie
Lonsdale, Zoë N.
Mallon, Eamonn B.
First Published: 8-May-2017
Publisher: Taylor & Francis for Epigenetics Society
Citation: Epigenetics, 2017, 12:9, pp. 725-742,
Abstract: Although numerous imprinted genes have been described in several lineages, the phenomenon of genomic imprinting presents a peculiar evolutionary problem. Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain gene imprinting, the most supported being Haig’s kinship theory. This theory explains the observed pattern of imprinting and the resulting phenotypes as a competition for resources between related individuals, but despite its relevance it has not been independently tested. Haig’s theory predicts that gene imprinting should be present in eusocial insects in many social scenarios. These lineages are therefore ideal for testing both the theory’s predictions and the mechanism of gene imprinting. Here we review the behavioural evidence of genomic imprinting in eusocial insects, the evidence of a mechanism for genomic imprinting and finally we evaluate recent results showing parent of origin allele specific expression in honeybees in the light of Haig’s theory.
DOI Link: 10.1080/15592294.2017.1348445
ISSN: 1559-2294
eISSN: 1559-2308
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © the authors, 2017. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Genetics

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