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Artificial Life

Fall 2000, Vol. 6, No. 4, Pages 265-281
(doi: 10.1162/106454600300103638)
© 2001 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Complex Organization in Multicellularity as a Necessity in Evolution
Article PDF (260.35 KB)

By introducing a dynamical system model of a multicellular system, it is shown that an organism with a variety of differentiated cell types and a complex pattern emerges through cell-cell interactions even without postulating any elaborate control mechanism. Such an organism is found to maintain a larger growth speed as an ensemble, by achieving a cooperative use of resources, than do simple homogeneous cells, which behave “selfishly.” This suggests that the emergence of multicellular organisms with complex organization is a necessity in evolution. According to our theoretical model, there initially appear multipotent stem cells, which undergo stochastic differentiation to other cell types. With development and differentiation, both the chemical diversity and the complexity of intra-cellular dynamics are decreased, as a general consequence of our system. Robustness of the developmental process is also confirmed.