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The Evolution of Volvox

The volvocine algae are a model system for studying the evolution of multicellularity, as the group contains extant species ranging from the unicellular Chlamydomonas to a variety of colonial species and the full-fledged multicellular Volvox varieties.

By | January 1, 2011

image: The Evolution of Volvox Infographic: The Evolution of Volvox
View full size JPG | PDFLucy Reading-Ikkanda (diagrams and cells); SOURCE: David L. Kirk

Infographic: The Evolution of Volvox
View full size JPG | PDF
Lucy Reading-Ikkanda (diagrams and cells); SOURCE: David L. Kirk

The volvocine algae are a model system for studying the evolution of multicellularity, as the group contains extant species ranging from the unicellular Chlamydomonas to a variety of colonial species and the full-fledged multicellular Volvox varieties. Comparing the biology of these organisms, evolutionary developmental biologist David Kirk of the Washington University in St. Louis proposed 12 steps that were key to this transition. Here are some highlights.

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