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Forming Lineages by Sticking Together

Pedroso, Makmiller (2018) Forming Lineages by Sticking Together. Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology, 11 (016). ISSN 2475-3025

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Abstract

Nature is replete with borderline cases that fall somewhere between organisms and communities. One broad class of borderline cases are microbial groups partially formed by the aggregation of cells from the environment, such as slime molds and dental plaque. Some have argued that microbial aggregates do not form lineages because microbial aggregates can acquire cells from the surrounding environment. Nevertheless, Haber (2016) has recently suggested that microbial aggregates may form lineages, but he does not fully elaborate his position. This paper argues that Haber’s suggestion is correct as long as a permissive criterion of what constitutes a ‘lineage-generating entity’ is adopted. Different mechanisms for lineage formation in microbial aggregates will be described to motivate this argument. Unlike mammals, lineage formation in microbial aggregates is more dependent on ecological factors and does not produce well-defined parent-offspring relations. Yet, focusing on the formation of incipient lineages has the benefit of improving our understanding of the processes that hold microbial aggregates together, and it helps bridge the gap between the literature on biological individuality and recent work on microbial communities.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Pedroso, Makmillermpedroso@towson.edu
Additional Information: ISSN: 1949-0739 (print)
Keywords: Aggregation; Biofilm; Biological Individual; Evolution; Lineage; Organism; Species
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Specific Sciences > Biology > Systematics
Depositing User: Jordan Miller
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2020 15:47
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2020 14:22
Item ID: 17659
Journal or Publication Title: Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology
Official URL: https://quod.lib.umich.edu/p/ptpbio/16039257.0011....
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.3998/ptpbio.16039257.0011.016
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Specific Sciences > Biology > Systematics
Date: 12 September 2018
Volume: 11
Number: 016
ISSN: 2475-3025
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17659

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