400 Pages 44 Color & 11 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    400 Pages 44 Color & 11 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    400 Pages 44 Color & 11 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Among the most important innovations in the history of life is the transition from single-celled organisms to more complex, multicellular organisms. Multicellularity has evolved repeatedly across the tree of life, resulting in the evolution of new kinds of organisms that collectively constitute a significant portion of Earth’s biodiversity and have transformed the biosphere. This volume examines the origins and subsequent evolution of multicellularity, reviewing the types of multicellular groups that exist, their evolutionary relationships, the processes that led to their evolution, and the conceptual frameworks in which their evolution is understood. This important volume is intended to serve as a jumping-off point, stimulating further research by summarizing the topics that students and researchers of the evolution of multicellularity should be familiar with, and highlighting future research directions for the field.

    Chapter 13 of this book is freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF at http://www.taylorfrancis.com under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) 4.0 license.

    Foreword by Andrew H. Knoll


    List of Contributors

    1. Introduction: The Evolution of Multicellularity in Context

    Matthew D. Herron, Peter L. Conlin, and William C. Ratcliff


    2. Getting at the Basics of Multicellularity

    Maureen A. O’Malley

    3. Multi-Level Selection of the Individual Organism

    Richard E. Michod

    4. Life Cycles as a Central Organizing Theme for Studying Multicellularity

    Merlijn Staps, Jordi van Gestel, and Corina E. Tarnita


    5. Eukaryote Aggregative Multicellularity: Phylogenetic Distribution and a Case Study of Its Proximate and Ultimate Cause in Dictyostelia

    Pauline Schaap

    6. Group Formation: On the Evolution of Aggregative Multicellularity

    Marco La Fortezza, Kaitlin A. Schaal, and Gregory J. Velicer

    7. Group Maintenance in Aggregative Multicellularity

    Israt Jahan, Tyler Larsen, Joan E. Strassmann, and David C. Queller

    8. Group Transformation: Fruiting Body and Stalk Formation

    Cathleen Broersma and Elizabeth A. Ostrowski


    9. Phylogenetics of Clonal Multicellularity

    Michelle M. Leger and I–aki Ruiz-Trillo

    10. Group Formation: Hypotheses for the Evolution of Clonal Multicellularity

    Stefania E. Kapsetaki and Roberta M. Fisher

    11. Group Maintenance in Clonal Multicellularity: Controlling Intra-organismal Evolution

    Aurora M. Nedelcu and Alexander N. May

    12. Group Transformation: Life History Trade-offs, Division of Labor, and Evolutionary Transitions in Individuality

    Guilhem Doulcier, Katrin Hammerschmidt, and Pierrick Bourrat


    13. The Single-Celled Ancestors of Animals: A History of Hypotheses

    Thibaut Brunet and Nicole King

    14. Convergent Evolution of Complex Multicellularity in Fungi

    László G. Nagy

    15. Genetic and Developmental Mechanisms of Cellular Differentiation in Algae

    Susana M. Coelho and J. Mark Cock

    16. The Evolution of Complex Multicellularity in Streptophytes

    Liam N. Briginshaw and John L. Bowman

    17. Multi-Species Multicellular Life Cycles

    Rebecka Andersson, Hanna Isaksson, and Eric Libby


    18. Conclusion: The Future of Multicellularity Research

    William C. Ratcliff, Peter L. Conlin, and Matthew D. Herron



    Matthew D. Herron is a Senior Research Scientist in the School of Biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He received his PhD from the University of Arizona and held postdoctoral positions at the University of British Columbia, the NASA Astrobiology Institute, and the University of Montana. He has authored or co-authored dozens of peer reviewed scientific papers.

    William C. Ratcliff is an Associate Professor in School of Biological Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he co-directs the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Quantitative Biosciences. He received his PhD from the University of Minnesota. At Tech, he leads a research group that examines the evolution of multicellularity through directed evolution, synthetic biology, and mathematical modeling.

    Peter L. Conlin is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the School of Biological Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He received his PhD from the University of Washington. He has authored or co-authored several peer reviewed scientific papers.

    The emergence of multicellular organisms is one of the most striking transitions in evolution. This nicely illustrated volume covers this topic from many angles, with 18 chapters by outstanding researchers in this fascinating and productive field. – Richard Lenski, Michigan State University

    No major transition was more major than that from single-celled to multicellular life.  The editors of and contributors to The Evolution of Multicellularity do a wonderful job walking the reader through that transition. I heartily recommend this book to (multicellular) readers everywhere. – Lee Dugatkin, University of Louisville

    The new volume, The Evolution of Multicellularity edited by M.D. Herron et al., pulls together current thought on multicellularity from workers across a constellation of fields. This volume does a wonderful job covering the issues: from how to recognize multicellularity (Chapter 2), multilevel selection (Chapter 3), to multicellularity in fungi (Chapter 14), algae, and plants (Chapters 15 and 16). – Carl Simpson, Trends in Ecology & Evolution