Unconscious affects on incalculable genomic interactions

Job swapping makes its mark on honeybee DNA Switching roles within the hive is reflected in reversible epigenetic changes.by  Nicky Guttridge

Excerpt: Gene Robinson… says that although the paper does not necessarily prove that epigenetic mechanisms cause behavioural differences, “it demonstrates for the first time that if behaviour is reversible so is the methylation”.

But Amdam says that the fact that honeybees can revert to a previous role indicates that there is a kind of ‘epigenetic roadmap’. “Brain cells can rely on shifts between these roadmaps to control different behaviours correctly,” she says.

A greater understanding of how epigenetics affects behaviour may lead to insights into human biology, Feinberg says, noting that epigenetic effects on human behaviour might express themselves in addiction, learning and memory. If the link between behaviour and methylation patterns “is true in a bee, it is likely to also be true in us”, he says.


My Comment: Epigenetics can only affect brain-directed behavior by effects on hormones. Moving from the honeybee model organism to vertebrates will be a matter of linking juvenile hormone to luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion that is altered by gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), the biological core of mammalian reproduction. Since the epigenetic effects of nutrient chemicals and pheromones in vertebrates result in changes in intracellular signaling and stochastic gene expression in GnRH neurons; GnRH secretion, and LH secretion, they can be linked to the diversity of genomic interactions that are required in the context of the recently released ENCODE data. However, this is not confabulation!

Gene activation in GnRH neurosecretory neurons of brain tissue in the hypothalamus, for example, links the epigenetic effects of food odors and pheromones to a genetically predisposed and organized GnRH neuronal system and its hormone-driven downstream effects on the development of every other neuronal system linked to differences in behavior via the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal and the  hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axes as is required for the involvement of both the neuroendocrine and neuroimmune systems in behaviors that ensure species survival.

How else are we going to get from the sensory environment to the diversity of its effects on nutrient chemical-driven behavior and pheromone-controlled mammalian reproduction if not via the diversity of nutrient chemical choices that include heterospecific DNA uptake in microbes, and also include species-specific pheromonal regulation of GnRH via the same molecular mechanisms responsible for nutrient-dependent, pheromone-controlled reproduction and speciation of all organisms?  The reciprocity of the epigenetically altered vertebrate gene, cell, tissue, organ, organ system pathway is clear, as is its role in adaptive evolution via ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction.

As we’ve now seen in invertebrate species, it is olfaction and odor receptors that provide a clear evolutionary trail that can be followed from unicellular organisms to insects to humans. Of course that trail includes transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of nutrient chemical-dependent and pheromone-controlled behaviors, as these authors have indicated. Kudos to them for moving us forward and away from random mutations theory to an era where geneticists and neuroscientists can examine sensory cause and effect in the proper perspective of an epigenetic continuum of unconscious affects on genomic interactions that already include gene duplication as a mechanism of genomic adaptation for behavior that is required in a changing environment of epigenetic effects.

The concept that is extended is the epigenetic tweaking of immense gene networks in ‘superorganisms’ (Lockett, Kucharski, & Maleszka, 2012) that ‘solve problems through the exchange and the selective cancellation and modification of signals (Bear, 2004, p. 330)’. It is now clearer how an environmental drive probably evolved from that of food ingestion in unicellular organisms to that of socialization in insects. It is also clear that, in mammals, food odors and pheromones cause changes in hormones such as LH, which has developmental affects on sexual behavior in nutrient-dependent, reproductively fit individuals across species of vertebrates.

See for review: Kohl, J.V. (2012) Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 2: 17338. DOI: 10.3402/snp.v2i0.17338.

About James V. Kohl 1307 Articles
James Vaughn Kohl was the first to accurately conceptualize human pheromones, and began presenting his findings to the scientific community in 1992. He continues to present to, and publish for, diverse scientific and lay audiences, while constantly monitoring the scientific presses for new information that is relevant to the development of his initial and ongoing conceptualization of human pheromones. Recently, Kohl integrated scientific evidence that pinpoints the evolved neurophysiological mechanism that links olfactory/pheromonal input to genes in hormone-secreting cells of tissue in a specific area of the brain that is primarily involved in the sensory integration of olfactory and visual input, and in the development of human sexual preferences. His award-winning 2007 article/book chapter on multisensory integration: The Mind’s Eyes: Human pheromones, neuroscience, and male sexual preferences followed an award winning 2001 publication: Human pheromones: integrating neuroendocrinology and ethology, which was coauthored by disinguished researchers from Vienna. Rarely do researchers win awards in multiple disciplines, but Kohl’s 2001 award was for neuroscience, and his 2007 “Reiss Theory” award was for social science. Kohl has worked as a medical laboratory scientist since 1974, and he has devoted more than twenty-five years to researching the relationship between the sense of smell and the development of human sexual preferences. Unlike many researchers who work with non-human subjects, medical laboratory scientists use the latest technology from many scientific disciplines to perform a variety of specialized diagnostic medical testing on people. James V. Kohl is certified with: * American Society for Clinical Pathology * American Medical Technologists James V. Kohl is a member of: * Society for Neuroscience * Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology * Association for Chemoreception Sciences * Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality * International Society for Human Ethology * American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science * Mensa, the international high IQ society