Molecular phylogeny and evolution of morphology in the social amoebas

Pauline Schaap, Thomas Winckler, Michaela Nelson, Elisa Alvarez-Curto, Barrie Elgie, Hiromitsu Hagiwara, James Cavender, Alicia Milano-Curto, Daniel E. Rozen, Theodor Dingermann, Rupert Mutzel, Sandra L. Baldauf

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The social amoebas (Dictyostelia) display conditional multicellularity in a wide variety of forms. Despite widespread interest in Dictyostelium discoideum as a model system, almost no molecular data exist from the rest of the group. We constructed the first molecular phylogeny of the Dictyostelia with parallel small subunit ribosomal RNA and α-tubulin data sets, and we found that dictyostelid taxonomy requires complete revision. A mapping of characters onto the phylogeny shows that the dominant trend in dictyostelid evolution is increased size and cell type specialization of fruiting structures, with some complex morphologies evolving several times independently. Thus, the latter may be controlled by only a few genes, making their underlying mechanisms relatively easy to unravel.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)661-663
    Number of pages2
    Issue number5799
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2006


    Dive into the research topics of 'Molecular phylogeny and evolution of morphology in the social amoebas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this