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Journal Article

Eco-evolutionary dynamics of clonal multicellular life cycles

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

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Pichugin,  Yuriy       
Department Evolutionary Theory (Traulsen), Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Ress, V., Traulsen, A., & Pichugin, Y. (2022). Eco-evolutionary dynamics of clonal multicellular life cycles. eLife, 11: e78822. doi:10.7554/eLife.78822.


Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000B-43DD-1
Abstract
The evolution of multicellular life cycles is a central process in the course of the emer-gence of multicellularity. The simplest multicellular life cycle is comprised of the growth of the propagule into a colony and its fragmentation to give rise to new propagules. The majority of theo-retical models assume selection among life cycles to be driven by internal properties of multicellular groups, resulting in growth competition. At the same time, the influence of interactions between groups on the evolution of life cycles is rarely even considered. Here, we present a model of colo-nial life cycle evolution taking into account group interactions. Our work shows that the outcome of evolution could be coexistence between multiple life cycles or that the outcome may depend on the initial state of the population – scenarios impossible without group interactions. At the same time, we found that some results of these simpler models remain relevant: evolutionary stable strategies in our model are restricted to binary fragmentation – the same class of life cycles that contains all evolutionarily optimal life cycles in the model without interactions. Our results demonstrate that while models neglecting interactions can capture short- term dynamics, they fall short in predicting the population- scale picture of evolution.