Evolutionary crossroads in developmental biology: Dictyostelium discoideum

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    Dictyostelium discoideum belongs to a group of multicellular life forms that can also exist for long periods as single cells. This ability to shift between uni- and multicellularity makes the group ideal for studying the genetic changes that occurred at the crossroads between uni- and multicellular life. In this Primer, I discuss the mechanisms that control multicellular development in Dictyostelium discoideum and reconstruct how some of these mechanisms evolved from a stress response in the unicellular ancestor.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)387-396
    Number of pages10
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011


    • Evolution of multicellularity
    • Social amoeba
    • Encystation
    • Sporulation
    • Dictyostelium
    • Dependent protein kinase
    • Differentiation inducing factor
    • Adenylyl-cyclase-G
    • Social amebas
    • Terminal differentiation
    • Cell differentiation
    • Gene expression
    • Cyclic AMP
    • Prespore differentiation
    • Molecular phylogeny


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