Thomas G. Platt

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Kin recognition helps cooperation to evolve in many animals, but it is uncertain whether microorganisms can also use it to focus altruistic behaviour on relatives. Here we show that the social amoeba Dictyostelium purpureum prefers to form groups with its own kin in situations where some individuals die to assist others. By directing altruism towards kin,(More)
Kin and multilevel selection theories predict that genetic structure is required for the evolution of cooperation. However, local competition among relatives can limit cooperative benefits, antagonizing the evolution of cooperation. We show that several ecological factors determine the extent to which kin competition constrains cooperative benefits. In(More)
Mutations are the ultimate source of variation used for evolutionary adaptation, while also being predominantly deleterious and a source of genetic disorders. Understanding the rate of insertion-deletion mutations (indels) is essential to understanding evolutionary processes, especially in coding regions, where such mutations can disrupt production of(More)
As with many pathogenic bacteria, agrobacterial plant pathogens carry most of their virulence functions on a horizontally transmissible genetic element. The tumor-inducing (Ti) plasmid encodes the majority of virulence functions for the crown gall agent Agrobacterium tumefaciens. This includes the vir genes which drive genetic transformation of host cells(More)
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