Convergent evolution of soma in Astrephomene

A new paper by Shota Yamashita and colleagues explores the genetic basis for soma in one of the most mysterious volvocine algae, Astrephomene gubernaculifera. By combining whole genome sequencing with cell-type specific transcriptomics, they have shown that the gene or genes controlling germ/soma differentiation in Astrephomene are different from those in Volvox carteri, but the resulting cell-type specific differences in gene expression are similar between the two.

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Talking multicellularity on Demystifying Science

I had a great time talking about multicellularity, contingency, and all kinds of other things with Dr. Michael Shilo DeLay and Dr. Anastasia Bendebury on the Demystifying Science:

If you prefer to hear than see me blather on, the podcast is available here, but you’ll miss out on my Volvox wall art.

New book on the evolution of multicellularity

I haven’t been blogging much lately, and here’s one of the reasons: Peter Conlin, Will Ratcliff, and I have been editing a book on the evolution of multicellularity, which the publisher says will come out in late March, 2022. It’s available for preorder now, at a 20% discount.

The Evolution of Multicellularity

The Evolution of Multicellularity, cover art by Pedro Márquez-Zacarías

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