1st Edition

Epigenetic Processes and Evolution of Life

By Jana Švorcová, Anton Markoš Copyright 2019
    240 Pages
    by CRC Press

    240 Pages 34 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    The book covers the possible story of emergence of life and its subsequent evolution, emphasizing the necessary evolutionary step negotiation of a common "language set" which kept all inhabitants in the biosphere together, ensuring a basic level of understanding among them. The book focuses on "protocols of communication" (both genetic and epigenetic) representing norms shared and understood across the whole biosphere, enabling a plethora of holobiotic relationships. Cooperative nature of organismal evolution and epigenetic processes as a major force in evolution are also covered. Topics discussed are illustrated in detail on selected casuistics.


    The Manifold of Prebiotic Evolution


    Metabolism First

    Replicators’ – Code first

    Life from Nonlife: Establishing Rules and Codes


    ‘Universal Cell’

    Life Is

    Pillars and itinerary of the biosphere

    Biospheric games

    Towards a New Manifold: The Biosphere

    Dating Life’s Appearance

    Origins: Biosphere LUCA

    Reconstructing the Past, Making Sense of the Present

    Concepts of Heredity and Theories of Evolution

    Descent with Modification

    J. B. Lamarck

    After Lamarck: Organic Memory

    Experimental Embryology

    Units of Heredity

    The Age of DNA

    Modern Synthesis

    Evolutionary Developmental Biology

    Phylotypic Stage


    The Rise of Epigenetics

    Phenotypic Plasticity

    Organistic System Approach

    The "Phenotype First" Approach

    Niche Construction

    Philosophical Approaches

    Philosophical Turnoff on Causality

    New Dimensions of Diversity

    On Digital

    Shaping DNA


    The Hairball

    Targeted Epimutations

    Combing the Shapes of Nucleic Acids

    Protein Modularity

    Unrooted in the Norm yet Faithful to It



    Information Boom

    Quorum Sensing

    Signal Transduction

    Chance, Necessity, and Gratuity

    Processing and Responding



    The Tradition of the New


    Phylotype again

    Transgenerational Epigenetic Inheritance

    Biased Mutations

    Evolution by Cooperation: Communication between Different Lineages of Life

    On Lichens, Squids, and Coral Bleaching


    Intracellular Symbiosis in Multicellular Organisms


    Bacterial Consortia

    Mimetic Rings

    I, Holobiont

    Human Holobiont

    Variation in Microbiome Within Individuals

    Colonization Determinants

    Functions of Microbiome

    Fecal Transplants

    Holobiont as a Unit of Selection


    Life as interpretation

    The Nine-Word Game

    Species as Cultures






    Anton Markoš (1949), is a biologist at the Charles University in Prague, Czechia (department of philosophy and history of science). He works and teaches cell biology, theoretical and evolutionary biology. His books in English are Readers of the Book of Life (2002) and (with co-authors) Life as Its Own Designer (2009). Recently published papers include subjects such as in epigenetics, biosemiotics, language metaphor of life, and morphogenesis of bacterial colonies.

    Jana Švorcová (1982) studied both philosophy and theoretical and evolutionary biology at Charles University, and currently works at the same department as Anton Markoš, her former supervisor. Švorcová teaches theoretical biology and publishes papers concerning non-genetic inheritance, evo-devo and philosophy of biology.