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From one to many: the evolution of multicellular organisms

January 11 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Approximately 800 million years ago, complex multicellular eukaryotic forms evolved independently in more than one lineage. A survey of otherwise dissimilar protists reveals possible similarities in the routes they adopted to achieve multicellularity. The talk will deal with multicellular development in organisms belonging to three different supergroups: Dictyostelid or cellular slime molds (supergroup Amoebozoa, Mycetozoa); Choanoflagellates, Filastareans and Icthyosporeans (Opisthokonta, unicellular Holozoa); and Volvocine green algae (Archaeplastida, Chlorophyceae). In the first two, multicellularity is achieved by the aggregation of single cells and in the third, by the products of cell division staying together. Cells with the same or similar genomes can adopt different become multicellular in more than one way; and naïve ideas of what is simple (=“primitive”) and what is complex (= “evolved”) do not agree with inferred ancestral and derived states based on DNA-based phylogeny. The inference is that the evolutionary transitions to multicellularity may have been potentiated by minor changes in patterns of gene regulation.Discipline/Coordinating Entity: Biological Engineering


January 11
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category: