Origins of life

, Volume 13, Issue 3–4, pp 343–352 | Cite as

The Paramyxea Levine 1979: An original example of evolution towards multicellularity

  • Isabelle Desportes


The Paramyxea are parasitic in marine invertebrates. Their development is a sporulation involving the differentiation within a stem cell of several sporonts which produce spores made of cells enclosed inside each other. Three genera are recognized according to the number of spores and sporal cells, and the taxonomic position of the host (Polychaeta, Mollusca, Crustacea).

The Paramyxea exhibit both protistan and metazoan characters. Their nine singlets centrioles are observed in different Protoctists whereas the fact that their sporal cells acquire distinctive cytological features may be interpreted as an evolution towards multicellularity.


Stem Cell Organic Chemistry Geochemistry Mollusca Polychaeta 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isabelle Desportes
    • 1
  1. 1.Cytophysiologie des ProtozoairesParisFrance

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