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Journal Article

Resolving conflicts during the evolutionary transition to multicellular life


Rainey,  Paul B.       
External Scientific Member Group Experimental and Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Rainey, P. B., & De Monte, S. (2014). Resolving conflicts during the evolutionary transition to multicellular life. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, 45, 599-620. doi:10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-120213-091740.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0024-5CC0-1
The evolution of multicellular life from unicellular ancestral types involves
a hierarchical shift in the level at which selection operates. The shift, from
cells to collectives, depends on the emergence of Darwinian properties at
the level of nascent collectives. However, from the very earliest phases—
even before the emergence of higher-level Darwinian properties—the stage
is set for the evolution of conflict. Here we consider the range of ways
by which cooperation and conflict manifest at different levels of biological
organization. We give prominence to the emerging idea that conflict is a
central driver in the evolution of biological complexity and, in particular,
that solutions to conflict, notably those that arise from selection operating
at different temporal scales, have fueled the evolution of individuality.