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Emergence of multicellularity in a model of cell growth, death and aggregation under size-dependent selection

AuthorsDurán Nebreda, Salva; Solé, Ricard V.
KeywordsArtificial evolution
Major transitions
Issue Date26-Nov-2014
PublisherRoyal Society (Great Britain)
CitationJournal of the Royal Society Interface 12: 20140982 (2014)
Abstract© 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved. How multicellular life forms evolved from unicellular ones constitutes a major problemin our understanding of the evolution of our biosphere.A recent set of experiments involving yeast cell populations have shown that selection for faster sedimenting cells leads to the appearance of stable aggregates of cells that are able to split into smaller clusters. It was suggested that the observed evolutionary patterns could be the result of evolved programmes affecting cell death. Here, we show, using a simple model of cell-cell interactions and evolving adhesion rates, that the observed patterns in cluster size and localized mortality can be easily interpreted in terms ofwaste accumulation and toxicitydriven apoptosis. This simple mechanism would have played a key role in the early evolution of multicellular life forms based on both aggregative and clonal development. The potential extensions of this work and its implications for natural and synthetic multicellularity are discussed.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2014.0982
Identifiersdoi: 10.1098/rsif.2014.0982
issn: 1742-5662
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