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The precision of regulation in Dictyostelium discoideum: implications for cell-type proportioning in the absence of spatial pattern

Nanjundiah, V and Bhogle, AS (1995) The precision of regulation in Dictyostelium discoideum: implications for cell-type proportioning in the absence of spatial pattern. In: Indian Journal of Biochemistry & Biophysics, 32 (6). pp. 404-416.

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We have made careful counts of the exact number of spore, stalk and basal disc cells in small fruiting bodies of Dictyostelium discoideum (undifferentiated amoebae are found only rarely and on average their fraction is 4.96 x 10(-4)). (i) Within aggregates of a given size, the relative apportioning of amoebae to the main cell types occurs with a remarkable degree of precision. In most cases the coefficient of variation (c.v.) in the mean fraction of cells that form spores is within 4.86%. The contribution of stalk and basal disc cells is highly variable when considered separately (c.v.'s upto 25% and 100%, respectively), but markedly less so when considered together. Calculations based on theoretical models indicate that purely cell-autonomous specification of cell, fate cannot account for die observed accuracy of proportioning. Cell-autonomous determination to a prestalk or prespore condition followed by cell type interconversion, and stabilised by feedbacks, suffices to explain the measured accuracy. (ii) The fraction of amoebae that differentiates into spores increases monotonically with the total number of cells. This fraction rises from an average of 73.6% for total cell numbers below 30 and reaches 86.0% for cell numbers between 170 and 200 (it remains steady thereafter at around 86%). Correspondingly, the fraction of amoebae differentiating into stalk or basal disc decreases viith total size. These trends are in accordance with evolutionary expectations and imply that a mechanism for sensing the overall size of the aggregate also plays an essential role in the determination of cell-type proportions.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources.
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Molecular Reproduction, Development & Genetics
Depositing User: Ms V Mangala
Date Deposited: 27 May 2011 05:13
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2018 15:44
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/37969

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