Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

Experimental evolution of multicellularity

William Ratcliff, R. Ford Denison, Mark Borrello and Michael Travisano
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 109, No. 5 (January 31, 2012), pp. 1595-1600
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41477144
Page Count: 6
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Experimental evolution of multicellularity
Preview not available

Abstract

Multicellularity was one of the most significant innovations in the history of life, but its initial evolution remains poorly understood. Using experimental evolution, we show that key steps in this transition could have occurred quickly. We subjected the unicellular yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to an environment in which we expected multicellularity to be adaptive. We observed the rapid evolution of clustering genotypes that display a novel multicellular life history characterized by reproduction via multicellular propagules, a juvenile phase, and determinate growth. The multicellular clusters are uniclonal, minimizing within-cluster genetic conflicts of interest. Simple among< ell division of labor rapidly evolved. Early multicellular strains were composed of physiologically similar cells, but these subsequently evolved higher rates of programmed cell death (apoptosis), an adaptation that increases propagule production. These results show that key aspects of multicellular complexity, a subject of central importance to biology, can readily evolve from unicellular eukaryotes.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[1595]
    [1595]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1596
    1596
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1597
    1597
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1598
    1598
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1599
    1599
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1600
    1600