Dictyostelia represent a tractable system to resolve the evolution of cell-type specialization, with some taxa differentiating into spores only, and other taxa with additionally one or up to four somatic cell types. One of the latter forms, Dictyostelium discoideum, is a popular model system for cell biology and developmental biology with key signalling pathways controlling cell-specialization being resolved recently. For the most dominant pathways, evolutionary origins were retraced to a stress response in the unicellular ancestor, while modifications in the ancestral pathway were associated with acquisition of multicellular complexity. This review summarizes our current understanding of developmental signalling in D. discoideum and its evolution.
Schaap, P. (2016, August 1). Evolution of developmental signalling in Dictyostelid social amoebas. Current Opinion in Genetics and Development. Elsevier Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gde.2016.05.014