KAUST global research team first to observe inherited DNA expressions

13 February, 2020

​On February 10, KAUST announced new research demonstrating that corals pass patterns of DNA to their offspring. The groundbreaking research marks the first time that this process has been observed in animals within the field of biology.

Through their research, Manuel Aranda, KAUST associate professor of marine science; KAUST postdoctoral fellow Yi Jin Liew; and University of Wollongong postdoctoral fellow Emily Howells show that corals cannot only adapt to changes in their environment but also pass those learned traits on to their offspring through DNA methylation patterns. The process has previously only been observed in plants.

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Image: KAUST Associate Professor Manuel Aranda and a team of researchers examined intergenerational epigenetic inheritance in corals in work recently published in Nature Climate Change. File photo.