Early life: Origins of multicellularity

  title={Early life: Origins of multicellularity},
  author={Philip C. J. Donoghue and Jonathan B. Antcliffe},
Interpreting truly ancient fossils is an especially tricky business. The conclusion that 2.1-billion-year-old structures from Gabon are the remains of large colonial organisms will get palaeobiologists talking. 

The Major Transitions in Early Evolution

Features of autonomy and robustness in early evolution are brought into focus in this chapter, showing that metazoan autonomy evolved in successive steps.

Toward a New Understanding of Multicellularity

It is here hypothesized that obligate multicellularity results from extended cooperation between different life entities adopted as a strategy to survive prolonged low-fitness periods.

Origin of the Eukaryotic Cell

  • N. Lane
  • Biology
    The Promise of Science
  • 2019
All complex life on Earth is composed of ‘eukaryotic’ cells. Eukaryotes arose just once in 4 billion years, via an endosymbiosis — bacteria entered a simple host cell, evolving into mitochondria, the

Gaia: The Planet Holobiont

  • Ulrich
  • Environmental Science
  • 2013
The strict definition of holobiont is that it is a host organism (plant or animal) in interaction with all associated microorganisms as an entity for selection in evolution. This definition can be

The Origin of Mites: Fossil History and Relationships

Mites are members of the arthropod subphylum Chelicerata, a group with a long fossil history of about 500 million years (Dunlop 2010) (Fig. 2.1). The earliest chelicerate fossils are known from the

From hominins to humans: how sapiens became behaviourally modern

  • K. Sterelny
  • Psychology
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2011
It is argued that the model is evolutionarily plausible: the elements of the model can be assembled incrementally, without implausible selective scenarios, and the model coheres with the broad palaeoarchaeological record.

Major problems in evolutionary transitions: how a metabolic perspective can enrich our understanding of macroevolution

This paper considers the implications of major evolutionary events overlooked by MTE and its ETI-oriented successors, specifically the biological oxygenation of Earth, and the acquisitions of mitochondria and plastids.

Using adaptive laboratory evolution of multicellular snowflake clusters in yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to study reversibility of evolutionary processes

This work uses evolution of multicellularity in S. cerevisiae as a model to answer the question of chance vs. determinism in dictating evolutionary trajectories and shows how epistatic interactions evolve in a genome and shape evolutionary trajectoryories remains largely unknown.

Giving the early fossil record of sponges a squeeze

Twenty candidate fossils with claim to be the oldest representative of the Phylum Porifera have been re‐analysed and it is shown that no Precambrian fossil candidate yet satisfies all three of these criteria to be a reliable sponge fossil.

An Evo-Devo Perspective on Multicellular Development of Myxobacteria.

The developmental processes in myxobacteria are described, an updated comparative analysis of the genes involved in their developmental processes are presented, and how broad comparative studies and integration of diverse genetic, physicochemical, and environmental factors into experimental and theoretical models can further the understanding of myxOBacterial development, phenotypic variation, and evolution are discussed.



Large colonial organisms with coordinated growth in oxygenated environments 2.1 Gyr ago

The discovery of centimetre-sized structures from the 2.1-Gyr-old black shales of the Palaeoproterozoic Francevillian B Formation in Gabon are reported, which are interpreted as highly organized and spatially discrete populations of colonial organisms.

Proterozoic Ocean Chemistry and Evolution: A Bioinorganic Bridge?

Recent data imply that for much of the Proterozoic Eon, Earth's oceans were moderately oxic at the surface and sulfidic at depth, and biologically important trace metals would have been scarce in most marine environments.

Elements and Evolution

  • A. Anbar
  • Geology, Environmental Science
  • 2008
Changes in elemental abundances in Earth's oceans on geological time scales are intimately linked to evolutionary processes.

The Major Transitions in Evolution

This book discusses the origins of societies, development and evolution, and the development of spatial patterns in simple organisms.

The Paleoproterozoic megascopic Stirling biota

Abstract The 2.0–1.8-billion-year-old Stirling Range Formation in southwestern Australia preserves the deposits of a siliciclastic shoreline formed under the influence of storms, longshore currents,

Thinking about bacterial populations as multicellular organisms.

  • J. Shapiro
  • Biology
    Annual review of microbiology
  • 1998
Bacteria benefit from multicellular cooperation by using cellular division of labor, accessing resources that cannot effectively be utilized by single cells, collectively defending against antagonists, and optimizing population survival by differentiating into distinct cell types.