Sufficient aspartate drives specialization within a microbial colony, when some cells use it to create a limited carbon-resource, while other cells consume this resource and use aspartate for nucleotide synthesis.
Mathematical modeling shows that reproductive specialization is strongly favored in sparse networks of cellular interactions that reflect the morphology of early multicellular organisms, even when benefits of specialization are saturating.
Genes associated with age-based division of labor in ants exist in distinct regulatory and evolutionary contexts; genes up-regulated in young nurses are loosely connected and rapidly evolving while genes up-regulated in old foragers are highly connected and conserved.
The likelihood to perform tool use during foraging is linked to personality traits in ants, suggesting an original interplay between consistent inter-individual variability and division of labor in social species.
Physiological differentiation during symbiosis leads to division of labor between smaller and larger cells in an uncultured bacterial tubeworm symbiont population and results in remarkable metabolic diversity and complexity.