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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Sep 1982; 79(17): 5337–5341.
PMCID: PMC346891

Somatic cell parasitism and the evolution of somatic tissue compatibility.

Abstract

Selection pressures proposed to account for the convergent evolution of self/not-self recognition systems in lower organisms include defense against microbial parasites and somatic cell variants. Direct support for the existence of somatic cell parasites in natural populations has been lacking. I here report the occurrence of a somatic cell parasite in the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium mucoroides and discuss the implications of this phenomenon to the evolution of mechanisms of somatic tissue compatibility.

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