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Regulated aggregative multicelluraty in a close unicellular relative of metazoa

AuthorsSebé-Pedrós, Arnau ; Irimia, Manuel; Ruiz-Trillo, Iñaki
Issue DateNov-2013
Citation4th Meeting of the Spanish Society for Evolutionary Biology (2013)
AbstractThe evolution of metazoans from their unicellular protistan ancestors was one of the most important events in the history of life. However, which cellular and genetic changes in unicellular species ultimately led to the evolution of multicellularity is not known 1,2 . By using electron microscopy and flow cytometry, we describe the life cycle of the unice- llular holozoan Capsaspora owczarzaki, including the existence of an aggregative mul- ticellular stage. This represents the first of this kind in Holozoa (the clade that includes metazoans and their closest unicellular relatives). By comparative RNAseq analyses, we observe that the transitions in and out of this and other cell stages are tightly regulated at the transcriptomic level, impacting key functional categories, such as the integrin adhesome, extracellular matrix and their associated tyrosine kinase and G-protein sig- nalling pathways. Furthermore, we observe striking transitions in regulated alternative splicing during the C. owczarzaki lifecycle, including extensive regulated intron retention and the deployment of an exon network associated with signalling, a feature of splicing regulation so far only observed in metazoan species3. In summary, our results reveal the existence of a highly-regulated aggregative stage and gene regulatory innovations in C. owczarzaki that bear hallmarks of muticellularity in metazoans. The results further suggest that features of aggregative cellular behaviour in an ancestral protist may have been co-opted to establish clonal multicellularity at the onset of Metazoa.
DescriptionTrabajo presentado en la 4th Meeting of the Spanish Society of the Evolutionary Biology (SESBE 2013) celebrada en Barcelona del 27 al 29 de noviembre de 2013.
Appears in Collections:(IBE) Comunicaciones congresos
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