Multicellularity: Origins and Evolution

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Karl J. Niklas, Stuart A. Newman
MIT Press, Feb 12, 2016 - Science - 302 pages

Scholars consider the origins and consequences of the evolution of multicellularity, addressing a range of organisms, experimental protocols, theoretical concepts, and philosophical issues.

The evolution of multicellularity raises questions regarding genomic and developmental commonalities and discordances, selective advantages and disadvantages, physical determinants of development, and the origins of morphological novelties. It also represents a change in the definition of individuality, because a new organism emerges from interactions among single cells. This volume considers these and other questions, with contributions that explore the origins and consequences of the evolution of multicellularity, addressing a range of topics, organisms, and experimental protocols.

Each section focuses on selected topics or particular lineages that present a significant insight or challenge. The contributors consider the fossil record of the paleontological circumstances in which animal multicellularity evolved; cooptation, recurrent patterns, modularity, and plausible pathways for multicellular evolution in plants; theoretical approaches to the amoebozoa and fungi (cellular slime molds having long provided a robust model system for exploring the evolution of multicellularity), plants, and animals; genomic toolkits of metazoan multicellularity; and philosophical aspects of the meaning of individuality in light of multicellular evolution.

Contributors
Maja Adamska, Argyris Arnellos, Juan A. Arias, Eugenio Azpeitia, Mariana Benítez, Adriano Bonforti, John Tyler Bonner, Peter L. Conlin, A. Keith Dunker, Salva Duran-Nebreda, Ana E. Escalante, Valeria Hernández-Hernández, Kunihiko Kaneko, Andrew H. Knoll, Stephan G. König, Daniel J. G. Lahr, Ottoline Leyser, Alan C. Love, Raul Montañez, Emilio Mora van Cauwelaert, Alvaro Moreno, Vidyanand Nanjundiah, Aurora M. Nedelcu, Stuart A. Newman, Karl J. Niklas, William C. Ratcliff, Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo, Ricard Solé

 

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Contents

1 Fossils Feeding and the Evolution of Complex Multicellularity
3
2 Alternative Splicing Intrinsically Disordered Proteins Calmodulin and the Evolution of Multicellularity
17
II PLANTS AND RELATED THEORY
41
3 The Mechanistic Basis for the Evolution of Soma during the Transition to Multicellularity in the Volvocine Algae
43
4 Physicochemical Factors in the Organization of Multicellular Aggregates and Plants
71
The Whole the Parts and the Sum
87
III AMOEBOZOA FUNGI AND RELATED THEORY
103
6 Cellular Slime Mold Development as a Paradigm forthe Transition from Unicellular to Multicellular Life
105
9 What Are the Genomes of Premetazoan Lineages Telling Us about the Origin of Metazoa?
171
10 Sponges as the Rosetta Stone of ColonialtoMulticellular Transition
185
Perspective from Multilevel Consistency Dynamics
201
12 Multicellularity the Emergence of Animal Body Plans and the Stabilizing Role of the Egg
225
V PHILOSOPHICAL ASPECTS OF MULTICELLULARITY
247
13 Integrating Constitution and Interaction in the Transition from Unicellular to Multicellular Organisms
249
Between Evolutionary Dynamics and Developmental Mechanisms
277
Contributors
297

7 Tradeoffs Drive the Evolution of Increased Complexity in Nascent Multicellular Digital Organisms
131
From Physics to Evolution
149
IV METAZOA AND RELATED THEORY
169

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About the author (2016)

Karl Niklas is Professor of Plant Biology at Cornell University.

Stuart Newman is Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy at New York Medical College.

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