Science News

The transition from single-cell to multicellular organisms was a major step in the evolution of complex life forms. Multicellular organisms arose hundreds of millions of years ago, but the forces underlying this event remain mysterious. To investigate the origins of multicellularity, Erika Pearce’s group at the MPI of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg turned to the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum, which can exist in both a unicellular and a multicellular state, lying on the cusp of this key evolutionary step. These dramatically different states depend on just one thing—food.
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