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Wild Dictyostelium discoideum social amoebae show plastic responses to the presence of nonrelatives during multicellular development

Citation

Noh, Suegene; Christopher, Lauren; Strassmann, Joan; Queller, David (2021), Wild Dictyostelium discoideum social amoebae show plastic responses to the presence of nonrelatives during multicellular development, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.tqjq2bvtv

Abstract

When multiple strains of microbes form social groups, such as the multicellular fruiting bodies of Dictyostelium discoideum, conflict can arise regarding cell fate. Both fixed and plastic differences among strains can contribute to cell fate, and plastic responses may be particularly important if social environments frequently change. We used RNA-sequencing and photographic time series analysis to detect possible conflict-induced plastic differences between wild D. discoideum aggregates formed by single strains compared to mixed pairs of strains (chimeras). We found one hundred and two differentially expressed genes that were enriched for biological processes including cytoskeleton organization and cyclic-AMP response (up-regulated in chimeras), and DNA replication and cell cycle (down-regulated in chimeras). In addition, our data indicate that in reference to a time series of multicellular development in the lab strain AX4, chimeras may be slightly behind clonal aggregates in their development. Finally, phenotypic analysis supported slower splitting of aggregates and a nonsignificant trend for larger group sizes in chimeras. The transcriptomic comparison and phenotypic analyses support discoordination among aggregate group members due to social conflict. These results are consistent with previously observed factors that affect cell fate decision in D. discoideum and provide evidence for plasticity in cAMP signaling and phenotypic coordination during development in response to social conflict in D. discoideum and similar microbial social groups.

Funding

Division of Integrative Organismal Systems, Award: 12,564,161,656,756