“The fundamental developmental biology interest in studying the Volvocine algae is that a single cell ancestor has evolved multicellularity and complicated cellular processes in a short evolutionary period,” explained DOE JGI bioinformaticist and co-first author Simon Prochnik. What the team found, he said, is “an astonishing lack of innovation” in the Volvox genome when compared with Chlamydomonas, particularly given their completely different morphologies. “The notion that ‘if you’re small, you’re simple’ is starting to unravel. The more unicellular organisms we sequence, the more we see this.”
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