Multicellular Yeast

Multicellular Yeast

The evolution of multicellularity was one of the most important evolutionary transitions in the history of life. It profoundly affected the biological diversity and complexity. We've shown that it is possible to experimentally investigate the origin of multicellularity, by experimentally evolving Baker's yeast. All it takes is yeast and continued selection for faster settling rate. We use multicellular yeast to answer evolutionary questions such as the evolution of aging, complexity, and modularity.

Questions? Contact Will Ratcliff or Michael Travisano.


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Rhizobia are bacteria that spend most of their lives in soil, but they are better known for their work inside legume root nodules (see photo), where they convert atmospheric nitrogen to forms their plant hosts can use. Students in Ford Denison’s lab have used this legume-rhizobia symbiosis as a model to study the evolution of cooperation.

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