The Grosberg Lab
College of Biological Sciences
Center for Population Biology
4349 Storer Hall
(530) 752-1114
rkgrosberg@ucdavis.edu

 

 

> Research Interests & Current Projects
Evolution of multicellularity and other major transitions in the history of life


As developmental biologists come closer to understanding at the molecular and genetic levels how a zygote becomes an adult, it is easy to forget that the very phenomenon that gives them an occupation remains a vexing problem to evolutionary biologists: how did the transition from unicellular to multicellular life cycles occur? The evolution of multicellularity represents what Maynard Smith and Szathmary (1995) dubbed a major transition in the history of life. Such transitions require the evolution of mechanisms to control conflict at lower levels of biological organization (e.g., genes and cell lineages), so that cooperation can emerge at higher levels. Along with Dick Strathmann at Friday Harbor Labs and Kevin Foster at Rice University, I am exploring the roles of a fair meiosis, unicellular bottlenecks, self/nonself recognition systems, and germ line sequestration in stabilizing multicellular life cycles.

 
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