The dasycladalean algae produce diverse whorled structures, among which the best known are the vegetative and reproductive whorls of Acetabularia acetabulum. In this paper, we review the literature pertaining to the origin of these structures. The question is addressed in terms of the necessary pattern-forming events and the possible mechanisms involved, an outlook we call the pattern formation viewpoint. The pattern-forming events involved in the morphogenesis of the vegetative and reproductive whorls of Acetabularia have been used to define five and six morphogenetic stages, respectively. We discuss three published mechanisms which account, at least in part, for the pattern-forming events. The mechanisms are mechanical buckling of the cell wall, reaction-diffusion of morphogen molecules along the cell membrane, and mechanochemical interactions between Ca2+ ions and the cytoskeleton in the cytosol. The numerous differences between these mechanisms provide experimental grounds to test their validity. To date, the results of these experiments point towards reaction-diffusion as the most likely patterning mechanism. Finally, we consider the evolutionary origin of the vegetative and reproductive whorls and provide mechanistic explanations for some of the major evolutionary advances.
|Number of pages||25|
|Journal||Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences|
|State||Published - 29 Feb 2000|
- Morphogenetic models
- Whorl morphogenesis