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Journal Article

Evolution of multicellular life cycles under costly fragmentation

MPS-Authors
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Pichugin,  Yuriy
Department Evolutionary Theory, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Traulsen,  Arne
Department Evolutionary Theory, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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pcbi.1008406(1).pdf
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Citation

Pichugin, Y., & Traulsen, A. (2020). Evolution of multicellular life cycles under costly fragmentation. PLoS Computational Biology, 16(11): e1008406. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1008406.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-AD35-B
Abstract
Author summary Even among the simplest bacteria, there is an impressive diversity in reproduction modes: Some organisms split their bodies into multicellular pieces—others produce unicellular propagules. Some organisms give rise to multiple offspring at once, while others fragment into only two parts. What drives the evolution of such reproduction modes? Here, we theoretically investigate a previously overlooked factor: the costs caused by the fragmentation event itself. We show that reproduction costs can be responsible for the evolution of fragmentation into multiple parts. However, not any fragmentation mode is possible—many modes cannot evolve under any cost. Based on mathematical reasoning alone, we can thus make general statements about the evolution of life cycles. Since our results demonstrate that the evolution of reproduction modes is heavily influenced by the costs of the reproduction act, they call for a more thorough experimental consideration of these costs.