Is slime sociable?

In this HOT perspective by Vidyanand Nanjundiah and Santosh Sathe, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, the social selection and evolution of cooperative groups of cellular slime moulds are described.

In social selection, the phenotype of an individual is dependent upon its own genotype, as well as the phenotype and genotype of other individuals, thus the social context is crucial. Using cellular slime moulds as an example, they present a possible route to the evolution of social groups which involves several steps:
  • individuals that happen to be in spatial proximity benefit simply by virtue of their number;
  • traits that are already present act as preadaptations and improve the efficiency of the group;
  • new adaptations evolve under selection in the social context, i.e., via interactions between individuals, thus further strengthening group behaviour.

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Social selection and the evolution of cooperative groups: The example of the cellular slime moulds
Vidyanand Nanjundiaha and Santosh Satheb
Integr. Biol., 2011, 3, 329-342

This article was published as part of a themed issue in honor of Mina J. Bissell.

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