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Survival advantage of single-cellular organisms in colonies

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

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Survival advantage of single-cellular organisms in colonies

Postby johnjohnjohnjohn » Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:02 pm

I am a health science student who is very interested in evolution and would has a question troubling me for quite some time. Could I ask for this forum's opinion on the situation below?

Basically: in comparison to a single cell organism, multicellular organisms experience mutations but do not seem to survive them - because partial/local mutations can create lack of coordination, as in cancer. I am wondering, in that case, no matter how a single-cellular organisms mutates, there will be no issues with having to co-ordinate with other cells as an "organism". In that case, would the single-cellular organism have an evolutionary advantage, as in it will survive more mutations? I am thinking in terms of single-cell organisms operating in colonies (like a cancer tumor) to be the most resilient cells, because in the end they are capable of surviving multiple mutations. In that case, would the ratio between positive and negative mutations be much higher for single celled organisms as opposed to multicellular organisms?

Any of your insights into this issue would be much appreciated!! Thanks very much
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Postby JackBean » Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:41 am

there is little difference between multicellular and singlecellular. The first have specialized cells and only from small portion of cells can new generations emerge, whereas in the case of singlecellular, any cell (either mutated or not) can give rise to new colony, if the enviroment changes.

Cis or trans? That's what matters.
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