In all representatives of the genus Volvox, cells of cleaving embryos are connected by cytoplasmic bridges, which play an important role in the process of young colony inversion. However, during subsequent development, the intercellular bridges are retained not in all species of Volvox; the occurrence of the bridges in an adult colony correlates with the small size of mature gonidia (asexual reproductive cells) and with the presence of cell growth in the intervals between divisions. This complex of ontogenetic features is derived and arises independently in three evolutionary lineages of colonial volvocine algae. A putative role of the syncytial state of adult colonies for the evolution of developmental cycles in Volvox is discussed.
Russian Journal of Developmental Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 22, 2014
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