University of Cambridge > > Fluid Mechanics (DAMTP) > Algal Phototaxis and the Evolution of Multicellularity

Algal Phototaxis and the Evolution of Multicellularity

Add to your list(s) Download to your calendar using vCal

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Prof. Jerome Neufeld.

A fundamental issue in biology is the nature of evolutionary transitions from unicellular to multicellular organisms. Volvocine algae are models for this transition, as they span from the unicellular biflagellate Chlamydomonas to multicellular species of Volvox with up to 50,000 Chlamydomonas-like cells on the surface of a spherical extracellular matrix. The mechanism of phototaxis in these species is of particular interest since they lack a nervous system and intercellular connections; steering is a consequence of the response of individual cells to light. In this talk I will describe experimental and theoretical work on the mechanism of phototaxis in three members of the Volvocine algae, spanning 3 orders of magnitude in cell number. We find that there is an evolutionarily conserved dynamics, with a tuning between the time scales for an adaptive flagellar response to changing light levels illuminating the photoreceptors and the spinning frequencies of the microorganisms.

This talk is part of the Fluid Mechanics (DAMTP) series.

Tell a friend about this talk:

This talk is included in these lists:

Note that ex-directory lists are not shown.


© 2006-2024, University of Cambridge. Contact Us | Help and Documentation | Privacy and Publicity