|Title||Phylogeography and sexual macrocyst formation in the social amoeba Dictyostelium giganteum|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2010|
|Authors||Mehdiabadi NJ, Kronforst MR, Queller DC, Strassmann JE|
|Journal||BMC Evolutionary Biology|
Microorganisms are ubiquitous, yet we are only beginning to understand their diversity and population structure. Social amoebae (Dictyostelia) are a diverse group of unicellular eukaryotic microbes that display a unique social behaviour upon starvation in which cells congregate and then some die to help others survive and disperse. The genetic relationships among co-occurring cells have a major influence on the evolution of social traits and recent population genetic analysis found extensive genetic variation and possible cryptic speciation in one dictyostelid species (Dictyostelium purpureum). To further characterize the interplay among genetic variation, species boundaries, social behaviour, and reproductive isolation in the Dictyostelia, we conducted phylogenetic analyses and mating experiments with the geographically widespread social amoeba Dictyostelium giganteum.