Opendata, web and dolomites


Evolution of multicellularity and somatic cell specialization

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 EVOSOM project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the EVOSOM project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "EVOSOM" about.

tissues    gene    mostly    dictyostelia    elaboration    lineage    replacement    exposed    correlations    species    retrace    group    fundamental    transitions    caused    events    organisation    patterns    proteins    immense    function    families    starting    conserved    groups    functions    ancestral    utr    vice    gain    intracellular    induce    indicative    seek    causality    alternatively    questions    subdivided    specialization    transition    organs    signalling    unicellular    altered    emergence    enabled    mechanisms    phenotyping    types    promoters    multicellularity    evolution    alternative    changed    yielding    structures    genetically    splice    genetic    place    esps    versa    promoter    forms    somatic    multicellular    signal    encoding    appearing    secreted    hypothesis    esp    cell    diversification    innovation    contain    regulatory    overexpress    allowed    propagation    spliced    frequently    genes    relatives    tractable    found    amoebozoa    drivers    cells    expression    populations    10    induces   

Project "EVOSOM" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: Nethergate
city: DUNDEE
postcode: DD1 4HN

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 2˙128˙602 €
 EC max contribution 2˙128˙602 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-ADG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-05-01   to  2022-04-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITY OF DUNDEE UK (DUNDEE) coordinator 2˙128˙602.00


 Project objective

The evolution of multicellularity allowed specialization of cells into functions that support rather than cause propagation. While yielding immense gain of function, the organisation of these somatic cells into tissues and organs required novel cell-cell signalling systems. We seek to identify the genetic changes that caused transitions to multicellularity and enabled cell specialization. We use genetically tractable Dictyostelia with multicellular structures that contain from 1 to 5 cell-types to address these fundamental questions. Dictyostelia evolved from unicellular Amoebozoa and are subdivided into 4 major groups, with most novel cell-types appearing in group 4. We found that gene expression patterns changed most frequently at the transition between groups 3 and 4, and that across groups ~10% of genes were alternatively spliced in the 5’UTR, indicative of promoter elaboration. Among known genes essential for multicellular development, those involved in intracellular signal processing were mostly conserved between Dictyostelia and unicellular Amoebozoa, while those encoding exposed and secreted proteins (ESPs) were unique to Dictyostelia or groups within Dictyostelia. Starting from a hypothesis that diversification of ESPs and gene regulatory mechanisms are major drivers of multicellular evolution, we will place unicellular relatives of Dictyostelia under selection to induce multicellularity, establish which genes are most changed in evolved populations and whether this involves ESP families that are also most changed in Dictyostelia. We will overexpress altered genes in unicellular forms to assess whether this induces multicellularity. We will retrace evolution of cell specialization by lineage analysis and phenotyping and seek correlations between cell-type innovation and alternative splice events and with emergence of novel signalling genes. Causality will be assessed by replacement of genes or promoters with ancestral forms in evolved species and vice versa


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Yoshinori Kawabe, Takahiro Morio, Yoshimasa Tanaka, Pauline Schaap
Glycogen synthase kinase 3 promotes multicellular development over unicellular encystation in encysting Dictyostelia
published pages: , ISSN: 2041-9139, DOI: 10.1186/s13227-018-0101-6
EvoDevo 9/1 2020-01-28
Evolution of multicellularity in Dictyostelia
published pages: 359-369, ISSN: 0214-6282, DOI: 10.1387/ijdb.190108ps
Int. J. Dev. Biol. 63 2020-01-28
2019 Gillian Forbes, Zhi-hui Chen, Koryu Kin, Hajara M. Lawal, Christina Schilde, Yoko Yamada, Pauline Schaap
Phylogeny-wide conservation and change in developmental expression, cell-type specificity and functional domains of the transcriptional regulators of social amoebas
published pages: , ISSN: 1471-2164, DOI: 10.1186/s12864-019-6239-3
BMC Genomics 20/1 2020-01-28
2018 Pauline Schaap, Christina Schilde
Encystation: the most prevalent and underinvestigated differentiation pathway of eukaryotes
published pages: 727-739, ISSN: 1350-0872, DOI: 10.1099/mic.0.000653
Microbiology 164/5 2019-05-16
2018 Koryu Kin, Gillian Forbes, Andrew Cassidy, Pauline Schaap
Cell-type specific RNA-Seq reveals novel roles and regulatory programs for terminally differentiated Dictyostelium cells
published pages: , ISSN: 1471-2164, DOI: 10.1186/s12864-018-5146-3
BMC Genomics 19/1 2019-05-16
2018 Falk Hillmann, Gillian Forbes, Silvia Novohradská, Iuliia Ferling, Konstantin Riege, Marco Groth, Martin Westermann, Manja Marz, Thomas Spaller, Thomas Winckler, Pauline Schaap, Gernot Glöckner
Multiple Roots of Fruiting Body Formation in Amoebozoa
published pages: 591-606, ISSN: 1759-6653, DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evy011
Genome Biology and Evolution 10/2 2019-05-16

Are you the coordinator (or a participant) of this project? Plaese send me more information about the "EVOSOM" project.

For instance: the website url (it has not provided by EU-opendata yet), the logo, a more detailed description of the project (in plain text as a rtf file or a word file), some pictures (as picture files, not embedded into any word file), twitter account, linkedin page, etc.

Send me an  email ( and I put them in your project's page as son as possible.

Thanks. And then put a link of this page into your project's website.

The information about "EVOSOM" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

More projects from the same programme (H2020-EU.1.1.)

SUExp (2018)

Strategic Uncertainty: An Experimental Investigation

Read More  

NanoMechShape (2019)

Molecular control of actin network architecture and mechanics during cell shape changes

Read More  

SPA4AstroQIT (2019)

Broadband Quantum-Limited Parametric Amplifier for Astronomy and Quantum Information Technology

Read More