Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nat Rev Genet. 2011 Mar;12(3):193-203. doi: 10.1038/nrg2903. Epub 2011 Feb 8.

The sociobiology of molecular systems.

Author information

1
Department of Zoology, Oxford University, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PS, UK. kevin.foster@zoo.ox.ac.uk

Abstract

It is often assumed that molecular systems are designed to maximize the competitive ability of the organism that carries them. In reality, natural selection acts on both cooperative and competitive phenotypes, across multiple scales of biological organization. Here I ask how the potential for social effects in evolution has influenced molecular systems. I discuss a range of phenotypes, from the selfish genetic elements that disrupt genomes, through metabolism, multicellularity and cancer, to behaviour and the organization of animal societies. I argue that the balance between cooperative and competitive evolution has shaped both form and function at the molecular scale.

PMID:
21301472
DOI:
10.1038/nrg2903
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group
    Loading ...
    Support Center