The evolution of morphogenetic signalling in social amoebae

Yoshinori Kawabe, Elisa Alvarez-Curto, Allyson V. Ritchie, Pauline Schaap

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Multicellular organisms have evolved several times from unicellular protists giving rise to the familiar forms of animals, plants and fungi. An important question in biology is how such transitions occurred. Multicellular life is typically dependent on complex communication between cells, whereas unicellular organisms respond mainly to environmental signals. Social amoebae are eminently suited to study the evolution of multicellularity, since they still combine a unicellular feeding stage with a stage where thousands of cells aggregate to form motile slugs and fruiting structures. In this chapter we summarize the signalling mechanisms that coordinate multicellular development in social amoebae and we discuss how these signalling mechanisms evolved from a response to environmental stress in solitary amoebae.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEvolutionary biology
    Subtitle of host publicationconcept, modeling and application
    EditorsPierre Pontarotti
    Place of PublicationHeidelberg
    Number of pages17
    ISBN (Print)9783642009518
    Publication statusPublished - 2009
    Event12th Evolutionary Biology Meeting 2008 - Marseilles, France
    Duration: 24 Sept 200826 Sept 2008


    Conference12th Evolutionary Biology Meeting 2008
    Abbreviated title12th EBM 2008
    Internet address


    • Dependent protein kinase
    • Adenylyl-cyclase-G
    • Dictostelium discoideum slugs
    • Cyclic AMP
    • Terminal differentiation
    • Gene expression
    • Prespore differentiation
    • Spore differentiation
    • Transduction
    • Cells


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