Altruism and social cheating in the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum

  title={Altruism and social cheating in the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum},
  author={Joan E. Strassmann and Yong Zhu and David C. Queller},
The social amoeba, Dictyostelium discoideum, is widely used as a simple model organism for multicellular development, but its multicellular fruiting stage is really a society. Most of the time, D. discoideum lives as haploid, free-living, amoeboid cells that divide asexually. When starved, 104–105 of these cells aggregate into a slug. The anterior 20% of the slug altruistically differentiates into a non-viable stalk, supporting the remaining cells, most of which become viable spores. If… 
Cooperation and conflict in the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum.
D. discoideum's tractability in the laboratory as well as its uncommon mode of aggregative multicellularity have established it as a promising model for future studies of cooperation and conflict.
Rapid antagonistic coevolution between strains of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum
  • B. Hollis
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2012
The results of an experimental evolution study designed to test whether clones of D. discoideum will evolve resistance to cheating in the laboratory with genetic variation created only through spontaneous mutation show strong antagonism between strains, mediated by ample mutational variation for cheating.
Migration in the social stage of Dictyostelium discoideum amoebae impacts competition
Results show that migration can alleviate the conflict of interests in heterogeneous slugs, which aligns their interest in finding a more advantageous place for dispersal, where shorter stalks suffice, which leads to a decrease in cheating behavior.
Evolution of cooperation and control of cheating in a social microbe
It is shown that studying a microbe has yielded unique insights, particularly in understanding how social cheaters are controlled, and that D. discoideum is rapidly becoming a model system of choice for molecular studies of social evolution.
Social behaviour in genetically heterogeneous groups of Dictyostelium giganteum
Comparing indices of altruistic behaviour between clonal and chimeric (genetically heterogeneous) social groups found that the allocation of cells to the stalk pathway would be higher, and to the spore pathway lower, in clonal social groups than in chimeras.
A new social gene in Dictyostelium discoideum, chtB
A new gene is described in D. discoideum, chtB, which when knocked out inhibits the parental strain from producing spores and is characterized from a screen for cheater mutants that were also able to form normal fruiting bodies on their own.
Social Conflicts in Dictyostelium discoideum : A Matter of Scales
A set of open questions are proposed that in this review lie at the core of a multi-scale description of aggregative life cycles, where the formulation of predictive evolutionary models would include cell-level mechanisms responsible for spore bias alongside population-level descriptors of multicellular organization.
How social evolution theory impacts our understanding of development in the social amoeba Dictyostelium
There is a promising future for research at the interface of development and social evolution in this fascinating group of cells, so it is important to measure relatedness in nature, show that it has an impact on cooperation in the laboratory, and investigate genes that Dictyostelium uses to discriminate between relatives and non‐relatives.
Kin Discrimination in Dictyostelium Social Amoebae
It is a puzzle that these genes do not cause stronger discrimination between mixed wild clones, but laboratory conditions or strong sorting early in the social stage diminished by later slug fusion could be explanations.
Kin Discrimination Increases with Genetic Distance in a Social Amoeba
It is demonstrated that D. discoideum cells co-aggregate more with genetically similar than dissimilar individuals, suggesting the existence of a mechanism that discerns the degree of genetic similarity between individuals in this social microorganism.


Developmental cheating in the social bacterium Myxococcus xanthus
It is shown that social cheating exists even among prokaryotes, with clones from several evolved lines and two defined mutants exhibited cheating during development, being over-represented among resulting spores relative to their initial frequency in the mixture.
Developmental decisions in Dictyostelium discoideum.
  • J. Gross
  • Biology
    Microbiological reviews
  • 1994
The weak base ammonia appears to play a key role in preventing culmination by inhibiting activation of cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase, whereas the prestalk cell-inducing factor DIF-1 is central to the choice of cell differentiation pathway.
Fruiting body architecture, spore capsule contents, selfishness, and heterocytosis in the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum
Two strains of Dictyostelium discoideum (NC-4H and HPS104), grown in mixed culture, on a low dextrose medium, exhibited evidence of behavior that was sensitive to patterns of relatedness. Differences
A glycosylation mutation affects cell fate in chimeras of Dictyostelium discoideum.
These findings are most simply explained by postulating that reduced glycoantigen expression and intercellular adhesion encourage a more anterior cell localization, which in turn causes differentiation into a prestalk cell.
Genetic structure of a natural population of Dictyostelium discoideum, a cellular slime mould
The tentative conclusion is that genetic exchange does not in fact occur, and that the observed shuffling of RFLP bands is caused by insertion and excision of transposons known to be associated with the tRNA genes of Dictyostelium.
Insect societies are macroscopic, and because they span the entire range from solitary individuals to essentially superorganismal colonies, they offer an accessible model for how such transitions can happen.
Heterocytosis in Cellular Slime Molds
Grafting experiments indicate that whenever wild type cells are involved, the final morphology of a fruiting body has the wild type phenotype.
The Evolution of Allorecognition Specificity in Clonal Invertebrates
This paper evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the selectionist and nonselectionist theories that have been proposed to account for the evolution and persistence of allotypesic polymorphism and suggests that frequency-dependent or spatially variable selection are the strongest candidates for the maintenance of allotypic variation.
Altruistic behaviour in Dictyostelium discoideum explained on the basis of individual selection
An evolutionary model is proposed, based on the individual cell as the unit of selection, for the maintenance of 'altruistic' behaviour by pre-stalk cells in the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum.