Authors: Cox E,Bonner J,
Address: Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA. email@example.com
Publication: 2001 Apr 20;292(5516):448-9. Epub 2001 Mar 29.
What would be The advantage of unicellular organisms becoming multicellular? For organisms that feed on organic food (heterotrophs), the most efficient way to produce energy is to metabolize the food by aerobic respiration, but the fastest way is to metabolize it by fermentation. In their Perspective, Cox and Bonner discuss a mathematical model (Pfeiffer et al.), which shows that when these two kinds of organisms (respirators and fermenters) compete for a limited food source, the respirators manage best when they are grouped in clusters rather than remaining as separate cells. In this way, multicellularity could have originated.