Social Slime Molds Meet Their Match

Science  03 Jan 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5603, pp. 56-57
DOI: 10.1126/science.1080776

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Biologists have debated the existence of altruistic genes that recognize and aid copies of themselves. However, demonstrating such "green-beard" genes in biological systems has proved difficult. In their Perspective, Crespi and Springer describe an elegant set of experiments (Queller et al.) that identify a green-beard gene encoding a homophilic adhesion protein in the slime mold Dictyostelium.