Report

Self-Recognition in Social Amoebae Is Mediated by Allelic Pairs of Tiger Genes

Science  22 Jul 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6041, pp. 467-470
DOI: 10.1126/science.1203903

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text
As a service to the community, AAAS/Science has made this article free with registration.

Abstract

Free-living cells of the social amoebae Dictyostelium discoideum can aggregate and develop into multicellular fruiting bodies in which many die altruistically as they become stalk cells that support the surviving spores. Dictyostelium cells exhibit kin discrimination—a potential defense against cheaters, which sporulate without contributing to the stalk. Kin discrimination depends on strain relatedness, and the polymorphic genes tgrB1 and tgrC1 are potential components of that mechanism. Here, we demonstrate a direct role for these genes in kin discrimination. We show that a matching pair of tgrB1 and tgrC1 alleles is necessary and sufficient for attractive self-recognition, which is mediated by differential cell-cell adhesion. We propose that TgrB1 and TgrC1 proteins mediate this adhesion through direct binding. This system is a genetically tractable ancient model of eukaryotic self-recognition.

View Full Text