Dictyostelium   Printer friendly

Comparative Genomics of social amoebas

The social amoebas (Dictyostelia) display conditional multicellularity in a wide variety of forms. However, there is almost no molecular data exist from the group as a whole. The first molecular phylogeny of the Dictyostelia with parallel small subunit ribosomal RNA and a-tubulin data sets was constructed by Schaap et al. [1]. The authors belief, that the dictyostelid taxonomy requires complete revision. Besides, they stated that the dominant trend in dictyostelid evolution is increased size and cell type specialization of fruiting structures [2].

After the completion of the genome analysis of the genome from D. discoideum [3] a comparative genomics approach within the Amoebozoa branch of evolution seems to be appropriate. Social amoebas within the Amoebozoa currently comprise of more than 50 members. All species show the same vegetative developmental cycle with differences in details [1]. All species can be divided up into four distinct groups. The model organism D. discoideum belongs to group 4. We chose D. fasciculatum from group 1 and P. pallidum from group 2 for our comparative genomics approach.
  1. Schaap P, Winckler T, Nelson M, Alvarez-Curto E, Elgie B, Hagiwara H, Cavender J, Milano-Curto A, Rozen DE, Dingermann T, Mutzel R, Baldauf SL, Molecular phylogeny and evolution of morphology in the social amoebas, Science 314, 661-3 (2006)
  2. Schaap P, Evolution of size and pattern in the social amoebas, Bioessays 29, 635-44 (2007)
  3. Eichinger L et al., The genome of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum, Nature 435, 43-57 (2005) [Abstract].

January 29, 2009
Institute of Biochemistry I, Cologne
Suggestions and wishes: Gudrun Konertz
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