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A Sourcebook for the Worldwide Discovery of a Creative Organic Universe
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V. Life's Corporeal Evolution Encodes and Organizes Itself: An EarthWinian Genesis Synthesis

3. Cellular Holobiont Symbiogenesis

Speijer, Dave. Debating Eukaryogenesis: Does Eukaryogenesis Presuppose Symbiosis Before Uptake? BioEssays. 42/2, 2020. The University of Amsterdam veteran biologist makes a strong case to date that life’s innate avail of beneficial assemblies at every stage reveals a persistent “symbiogenesis,” instead of an “autogenesis” by many small steps. Other “predator/prey” models are then also set aside. So it seems after decades of study, it can be said that this mutual “coadptation” method becomes most evident, and thus can traced to an earlier, onset phase. Further experiments are proposed, but in this consummate year, it does seem that a “universal symbiosis” proceeds apace through a developmental evolutionary gestation.

Eukaryotic origins are heavily debated. The author and others have proposed that they are linked with the arrival of a pre‐mitochondrion of alphaproteobacterial=like ancestry, in a so‐called symbiogenic scenario. The ensuing mutual adaptation of archaeal host and endosymbiont seems to have been a defining influence leading to the last eukaryotic common ancestor. An unresolved question deals with the means by which the bacterium ends up inside. Here the author argues that prior models share flaws, hence making them less likely, and that a “pre‐symbiotic stage” would have eased ongoing metabolic integration. I will speculate about the nature of the (endo) symbiosis that started eukaryotic evolution in the context of bacterial entry being a relatively “early” event. (Abstract excerpt)

Stephens, Andrea. Living Together. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 37/7, 2022. A TREE editor introduces a latest review of nature’s avail of reciprocal unions at each and everywhere it can. Topical items are Mycorrhizal Traits, Lichen Symbioses, Host Influence of Symbiont Evolution, and more.

The term ‘symbiosis’ comes from Greek and means ‘living together.’ The articles in this special issue cover a range of topics about symbiotic relationships which are key to understanding life on Earth. The interacting partners modify each other’s behavior and physiology, which, in turn, alters their ecological dynamics. The ecology and evolution of life’s pervasive communions is key to understanding our planetary biodiversity.

Suarez, Javier and Vanessa Trivino. A Metaphysical Approach to Holobiont Individuality. Quaderns de Filosofia. 6/1, 2019. In this journal of the Societat de Filosofia del País Valencià, this entry by University of Barcelona and University of Murcia philosophers opens with Life on Earth does not walk alone. It is becoming evident nowadays that individuals do not exist in isolation apart from each other and their ecological region. Rather everyone’s internal, and external milieu and identity are actually a symbiotic, interactive unity between me and We, small and large, so as to compose a viable US. In regard a tripartite universal, iconome principle is thus being revealed.

Holobionts are symbiotic assemblages composed by a host plus its microbiome. The status of holobionts as individuals has recently been a subject of continuous controversy, which has given rise to two main positions: on the one hand, holobiont advocates argue that holobionts are biological individuals; on the other, detractors argue that they are just chimeras or ecological communities. Both parties argue over what it takes for a “conglomerate” to be an individual from a biological point of view. This paper presents a meta-physical approach which draws on a conception of natural selection that supports the thesis that holobionts are units of selection which bear emergent traits and exert downward powers over the entities that compose them. In this vein, it is reasonable to conceive holobionts as emergent biological individuals. (Abstract excerpt)

Tekle, Yonas, et al. Molecular Data Are Transforming Hypotheses on the Origin and Diversification of Eukaryotes. BioScience. 59/6, 2009. Smith College (Tekle, Laura Katz) and University of Massachusetts at Amherst (Laura Wegener Parfrey) biologists provide a lengthy update to wit that the evolutionary occurrence of nucleated cells is better understood as due to a pervasive “chimeric” synthesis. All sorts of lateral, endosymbiotic, genetic, archaeal, and bacterial realms engaged in multilineal transfers and sharings are seen to engender the consequent myriads of cellular organisms.

Thornburg, Zane, at al. Fundamental Behaviors Emerge from Simulations of a Living Minimal Cell. Cell. 185/345, 2022. A 15 member team mainly based at the University of Illinois achieves a novel depth and degree of analysis of life’s metabolic cellular basis. A four part graphic depicts the study range from internal processes, cell states, dynamic changes and onto whole-cell simulations. A news report appears in Quanta Magazine as Most Complete Simulation of a Cell Probes Life’s Hidden Rules by Yasemin Saplakoglu on February 24, 2022. By our PhiloSophia view, by a science spiral from individuals to such collaborative efforts, our Earthuman intelligence seems to carry out, as yet unawares, some natural participatory purpose to wholly quantify a self-cocreating genesis ecosmos. However might we peoples in this decade be able to realize this?

A kinetic model for a minimal bacterial cell offers quantitative insight into how the cell balances processes from metabolism to gene expression to growth. (In Brief)

We present a whole-cell fully dynamical kinetic model of a minimal cell with a reduced genome that has retained few regulatory proteins or small RNAs. Time-dependent behaviors of concentrations and reaction fluxes from stochastic-deterministic simulations reveal how the cell balances its metabolism, genetic information processes, growth, as a deeper view into the vital principles of life. (Abstract excerpt)

Tripp, Erin, et al. Reshaping Darwin’s Tree: Impact of the Symbiome. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. Online June, 2017. An eight member team from the University of Colorado, Rutgers University, Sun Yat-Sen University, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Chicago Botanical Garden perceive an “unfolding revolution” via the actual inclusion of symbiotic assemblies across life’s phylogenetic evolution. Its significance is cited as “a new way of exploring the world” as graced by nature’s propensities for mutually beneficial unions. The late Lynn Margulis and founding advocate of this prime phenomena would be pleased, gratified, and say “tell me about it.”

Much of the undescribed biodiversity on Earth is microbial, often in mutualistic or pathogenic associations. Physically associated and coevolving life forms comprise a symbiome. We propose that systematics research can accelerate progress in science by introducing a new framework for phylogenetic analysis of symbiomes, here termed SYMPHY (symbiome phylogenetics).

Varahan, Sriram, et al. Metabolic Constraints Drive Self-Organization of Specialized Cell Groups. eLife. June 26, 2019. Five Indian systems cell biologists contribute novel understandings of the many ways that cellular activities have a vitality of their own as they innately organize themselves into preferred states and solutions.

How phenotypically distinct states in isogenic cell populations appear and stably co-exist remains unresolved. We find that within a mature, clonal yeast colony in low glucose, cells arrange into metabolically disparate cell groups. Using this system, we model and experimentally identify metabolic constraints which drive such self-assembly. Our work suggests simple physico-chemical principles that determine how isogenic cells spontaneously self-organize into structured assemblies in complimentary, specialized states. (Abstract excerpt)

Vicente, Filipe and Alba Diz-Munoz. Order from Chaos: How Mechanics Shape Epithelia and Promote Self-Organization. Current Opinion in Systems Biology. March, 2023. European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg biophysicists describe more innate reasons how and why life’s actual orthogenesis proceeds to organize itself across many animal species and scales.

Collective cell behaviors are essential for the shape and function of tissues. Much recent work has provided experimental evidence that tissue mechanics are key drivers of morphogenesis. In regard, the spatiotemporal coordination of cellular contractility, adhesion and volume regulation can drive development. At the same time, the epithelial sheets have strong mechanical properties so to distribute stress throughout the physical deformations necessary for their function. In this review, we address recent findings on epithelia morphogenesis and mechanical resistance and highlight the importance of quantitative new approaches for achieving novel understanding.

Wang, Xiaoliang and Dongyun Bai. Self-organization Principles of Cell Cycles and Gene Expressions in the Development of Cell Populations. arXiv:2105.07337. We cite this entry by Zhejiang University and Shanghai Jao Tong University biologists as an 2021 example of the worldwide acceptance of this universal generative spontaneity in effect across cellular living systems. But the evolutionary sciences remain stuck betwixt a textbook neoDarwinian random selection mode, and these major revisions and advances which have not yet come to form a genesis synthesis. It is our annotated anthology intent to report and document its actual achievement by its latest EarthWise personsphere transition.

A big challenge in current biology is to understand the exact self-organization mechanism underlying complex multi-physics which serve life’s processes. With multiscale computation from subcellular gene expressions to cell population dynamics based on first principles, we show that cell cycles can self-organize into the development of E. coli populations relying on the moving graded nutrient concentration profile. As a result, the statistical cell cycle distribution is forms into a universal function and shows a scale invariance. (Abstract excerpt).

Watson, Richard and Jordan Pollack. How Symbiosis Can Guide Evolution. Dario Floreano, et al, eds. Advances in Artificial Life. Berlin: Springer, 1999. Cooperative symbiotic unions can be recognized as a prime force if our perception can move beyond a narrow Darwinian gradualist view.

Despite being undeniably common, the phenomenon of symbiosis, and especially mutualism, has for the most part been treated as a curio; a transient aberration on the otherwise relentless path of mutually-exclusive competition between species. In contrast, enlightened evolutionary theory recognises symbiosis as an integral process, and a fundamental source of innovation, in evolution. (29)

West-Eberhard, Mary Anne. Modularity as a Universal Emergent Property of Biological Traits. Journal of Experimental Zoology B. Online November, 2019. In another response to John Bonner’s call to revise evolutionary theory due to major transitions, the senior Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, University of Costa Rica field and theoretical biologist extols the formative importance of nature’s structural preference for a scale of self-contained whole units nested within larger, bounded entities. This deep propensity is then seen to serve all manner of biological features and viabilities.

Woese, Carl. Evolving Biological Organization. Sapp, Jan, ed. Microbial Phylogeny and Evolution. Oxford University Press, 2005. The veteran biologist continues to revision a more life-like science. An initial evolution of communal cells is seen to involve the “horizontal” exchange of genes, before their subsequent “vertical” transfer between sexual organisms. Because of these findings, the prokaryote model is called into question. Woese goes on to summarize eleven points about cellular evolution from the advent of translation from nucleic to peptide sequence, to more community and complexity, which then set the stage for Darwinian individuals.

The science of biology enters the twenty-first century in turmoil, in a state of conceptual disarray, although at first glance this is far from apparent. (99) The time has come to shift biology’s focus from trying to understand organisms solely by dissecting them into their parts to trying to understand the fundamental nature of biological organization, of biological form. (100) The organism is not a machine! (100)

…what can be taken as reasonable starting points for developing a concept of the evolution of cellular organization? There are three such points. The first is horizontal gene transfer, which…is the essence of cellular evolution. The second is the nature of the cellular translation apparatus, for the evolutions of translation and cellular organization are part and parcel of one another. The third is the fact that the cell and its evolution are complex dynamic systems/processes. Eventually, our understanding of cellular evolution (and of evolution in general) will be in terms of complex dynamics systems. (104)

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