WADDINGTON, Conrad Hal
The epigenotype.Endeavour 1, 18-20, 1942.
Waddington coined the term epigenetics: "For the purpose of a study of inheritance, the relation between phenotypes and genotypes [...] is, from a wider biological point of view, of crucial importance, since it is the kernel of the whole problem of development. Many geneticists have recognized this and attempted to discover the processes involved in the mechanism by which the genes of the genotype bring about phenotypic effects. The first step in such an enterprise is – or rather should be, since it is often omitted by those with an undue respect for the powers of reason – to describe what can be seen of the developmental processes. For enquiries of this kind, the word 'phenogenetics' was coined by Haecker [1918, Phänogenetik]. The second and more important part of the task is to discover the causal mechanisms at work, and to relate them as far as possible to what experimental embryology has already revealed of the mechanics of development. We might use the name 'epigenetics' for such studies, thus emphasizing their relation to the concepts, so strongly favourable to the classical theory of epigenesis, which have been reached by the experimental embryologists. We certainly need to remember that between genotype and phenotype, and connecting them to each other, there lies a whole complex of developmental processes. It is convenient to have a name for this complex: 'epigenotype' seems suitable."
Subjects: GENETICS / HEREDITY › Epigenetics