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Data from: Diet changes alter paternally inherited epigenetic pattern in male Wild guinea pigs

Citation

Weyrich, Alexandra et al. (2018), Data from: Diet changes alter paternally inherited epigenetic pattern in male Wild guinea pigs, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.7bg3t6s

Abstract

Epigenetic modifications, of which DNA methylation is the most stable, are a mechanism conveying environmental information to subsequent generations via parental germ lines. The paternal contribution to adaptive processes in the offspring might be crucial, but has been widely neglected in comparison to the maternal one. To address the paternal impact on the offspring’s adaptability to changes in diet composition, we investigated if low protein diet (LPD) in F0 males caused epigenetic alterations in their subsequently sired sons. We therefore fed F0 male Wild guinea pigs with a diet lowered in protein content (LPD) and investigated DNA methylation in sons sired before and after their father’s LPD treatment in both, liver and testis tissues. Our results point to a ‘heritable epigenetic response’ of the sons to the fathers’ dietary change. Because we detected methylation changes also in the testis tissue, they are likely to be transmitted to the F2 generation. Gene-network analyses of differentially methylated genes in liver identified main metabolic pathways indicating a metabolic reprogramming (‘metabolic shift’). Epigenetic mechanisms, allowing an immediate and inherited adaptation may thus be important for the survival of species in the context of a persistently changing environment, such as climate change.

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