Epistasis Blog

From the Artificial Intelligence Innovation Lab at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (www.epistasis.org)

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Canalization and Epistasis

Epistasis has been defined in multiple different ways (e.g. Hollander 1955; Philips 1998; Brodie 2000; Wade et al. 2001; Cordell 2002; Moore and Williams 2005). Most definitions relate back to early work by Bateson (1909) and Fisher (1918) that focused on "biological epistasis" and "statistical epistasis", respectively. A biological system is said to be canalized (Waddington 1942, 1957) when it is buffered against mutations and/or environmental change. Canalization results from stabilizing selection and leads to robust genetic networks that exhibit epistasis (e.g. Gibson and Wagner 2000; de Visser et al. 2003). A new review by Proulx and Phillips (2005) discusses canalization and the evolution of genetic networks.

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Moore and WIlliams. Traversing the conceptual divide between biological and statistical epistasis: systems biology and a more modern synthesis. BioEssays 2005 June, in press. [BioEssays]

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Proulx and Phillips. The opportunity for canalization and the evolution of genetic networks. Am Nat. 2005 Feb;165(2):147-62. [PubMed]

Wade et al. Alternative definitions of epistasis: dependence and interaction. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 2001;16:498-504. [pdf]

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Waddington CH. The Strategy of the Genes. MacMillan, New York, 1957.


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