Artificial Life VI

Emergence of Multicellular Organisms with Dynamic Differentiation and Spatial Pattern

Chikara Furusawa
Department of Pure and Applied Sciences, University of Tokyo

Kunihiko Kaneko
Department of Pure and Applied Sciences, University of Tokyo


Models for cell differentiation are studied, where cells with internal chemical reaction dynamics interact with each other and replicate. The cells are found to differentiate based on dynamical instability, as is discussed in the isologous diversification. These differentiations obey specific hierarchical rules which emerge from dynamics without sophisticated programs implemented in advance. The rate of cell differentiation is modulated, depending on the distribution of cell types, which lead to a higher-level population dynamics. The global stability and the diversity of cell society appear as a result of this dynamics. Including the spatially local interaction and cell-to-cell cohesiveness, spatial pattern of differentiated cells is formed. Without any external information, germ-like cells and somatic cells are separated. The former cells, spatially localized, start to form a new ensemble of cells again. Hence a multi-cellular organism emerges as a unit of replication. The results provide a novel viewpoint on the origin of complex cell society, while relevance to some biological problems is also discussed.

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