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By Jennifer Carpenter
MONTREAL, CANADA—When taking a dip this summer you will probably swallow tens, possibly hundreds, of microscopic plankton called choanoflagellates. These common organisms have led to an uncommon insight into how multicellular organisms might have evolved. Bacteria can prompt single-celled choanoflagellates to divide into multicellular versions of themselves, University of California (UC), Berkeley, biologist Nicole King reported last week here at the 71st annual meeting of the Society for Developmental Biology. King hopes the work will prompt biologists to look more closely at the role of microorganisms in the evolution of multicellularity.
This article is about aneLifepaper in press: " Bacterial regulation of colony development in the closest living relatives of animals." Read about how the author's conference presentation inspired this piece and a story inDiscover-- months before publication in theeLifejournal -- in our blog.