Thursday, February 01, 2007

Amoeba supports front-loading

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Categories : Biology, Intelligent Design, Evolution, Front-loading

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published: mercredi 31 janvier 2007 23:38:17

amoebaA prediction of front-loading is genes required for multicellularity being discovered in unicellular organisms, and I have previously suggested looking at amoebae, one of the oldest eukaryotes. Over at Uncommon Descent, DaveScot mentions that the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum has had its genome sequenced. And that is good news for front-loading fans.

Although primarily unicellular, Dictyostelium has a novel approach to hardships: When starved, individual amoebae come together to form a multicellular fruiting body composed of a stalk with spores poised on top. So although some genes required for multicellularity were expected, the researchers behind the sequencing were nonetheless surprised by just how many such genes there were:

A broad survey of proteins required for multicellular development shows that Dictyostelium has retained cell adhesion and signalling modules normally associated exclusively with animals, whereas the structural elements of the fruiting body and terminally differentiated cells clearly derive from the control of cellulose deposition and metabolism now associated with plants.

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