Sex Determination in the Social Amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum

  title={Sex Determination in the Social Amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum},
  author={Gareth Bloomfield and Jason Skelton and Alasdair C. Ivens and Yoshimasa Tanaka and Robert R. Kay},
  pages={1533 - 1536}
Sex Triangle The model organism Dictyostelium discoideum is a social amoeba that has three sexes, or mating types, that do not resemble those in any other eukaryote studied so far. Any two sexes can form a diploid zygote, which will recruit other haploid cells to form a macrocyst. Bloomfield et al. (p. 1533; see the Perspective by Kessin) found that sex in this amoeba is determined by several genes at a locus on chromosome 5, with each mating type represented by a different version of the locus… 

Genetics of sex determination in the social amoebae

The mating‐type locus of the widely studied model organism Dictyostelium discoideum, which has three mating types, has recently been identified and may be a first glimpse of a novel mode of regulation used in these organisms.

Reproductive Strategies in Social Amoeba

The sexual pathway of the social amoeba is interesting, and studies on dictyostelids will provide evolutionary insights into reproductive strategies adapted by simple multicellular organisms.

Sex in Dictyostelia

Important questions regarding altruism, genetics and the basic cell biology of both the sexual and parasexual cycles remain to be addressed experimentally, so there remains tremendous scope for future research.

A Surface Glycoprotein Indispensable for Gamete Fusion in the Social Amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum

It is suggested that MacA is indispensable for gamete interactions in D. discoideum, probably via cell adhesion, and there is a possibility that it is controlled in a mating-type-dependent manner.

Sex and macrocyst formation in Dictyostelium.

Recent advances in understanding of mating-type determination, gamete fusion, and inheritance in Dictyostelium are summarized and key gaps in the understanding of this fascinating set of phenomena are highlighted.

Social amoebae mating types do not invest unequally in sexual offspring

Overall, mating type‐specific differential investment during sex is unlikely in microbial eukaryotes like D. discoideum, but the hypothesis that the mating types contribute cells relative to their proportion in the population is not rejected.

Sex and Sacrifice

A single genetic locus determines the three sexes of slime mold amoebae, and Bloomfield et al. (1) put the sexual part of the slime mold's life cycle on a solid molecular footing.

Triparental inheritance in Dictyostelium

Significance Sex produces a new individual in which genetic material is reassorted and recombined. Most often, nuclear DNA is inherited from two parents, and organelle genomes are transmitted from



The genome of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum

A proteome-based phylogeny shows that the amoebozoa diverged from the animal–fungal lineage after the plant–animal split, but Dictyostelium seems to have retained more of the diversity of the ancestral genome than have plants, animals or fungi.

The mating system of the cellular slime mould Dictyostelium discoideum

It is suggested that D. discoideum has a one locus, two allele mating system and bisexual strains are closely related to homothallic strains and are not strains carrying a third mating type allele.

Macrocyst development in Dictyostelium discoideum. II. Mating-type-specific cell fusion and acquisition of fusion-competence.

Direct evidence is obtained that giant cells are produced by fusion between opposite mating-type cells, which are very large multinucleated cells, and not binucleated zygotes.

Genetic exchanges in the macrocysts of Dictyostelium discoideum.

Crosses were made between strains of Dictyostelium discoideum involving two drug resistance markers and the mating-type locus, indicating that germination might be influenced by both extrinsic and multiple genetic factors.

The Evolution of Sex: a Perspective from the Fungal Kingdom

The state of the understanding of sex and its evolution in the fungal kingdom is reviewed and areas where the field has contributed and will continue to contribute to illuminating general principles and paradigms of sexual reproduction are reviewed.

Why are there only two sexes?

  • L. Hurst
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 1996
It is shown by a dynamic analysis that, if species with two mating-types coordinate uniparental inheritance of cytoplasmic genes more efficiently than do those with three, then evolution from three to two sexes is expected as a response to the invasion of a costly selfish cytopLasmic factor that disrupts the normal pattern of inheritance.

Vegetative Incompatibility and the Mating-Type Locus in the Cellular Slime Mold DICTYOSTELIUM DISCOIDEUM.

The genetic basis of vegetative incompatibility in the cellular slime mold, Dictyostelium discoideum, is elucidated and it is found that there is probably only a single vegetatively incompatible site, which appears to be located at, or closely linked to, the mating-type locus.

Aggregation during sexual development in Dictyostelium discoideum.

  • D. O’Day
  • Biology
    Canadian journal of microbiology
  • 1979
A microcinematographic analysis of the behaviour and movements of cells and cell masses in mated cultures of Dictyostelium discoideum indicates that a chemotactic process directs cell aggregation during macrocyst development, suggesting that the aggregation process leading to macrycystDevelopment is the same as that occurring during fruit construction.