Programmed death in a unicellular organism has species-specific fitness effects

Pierre M. Durand, Rajdeep Choudhury, Armin Rashidi, Richard E. Michod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Programmed cell death (PCD) is an ancient phenomenon and its origin and maintenance in unicellular life is unclear. We report that programmed death provides differential fitness effects that are species specific in the model organism Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Remarkably, PCD in this organism not only benefits others of the same species, but also has an inhibitory effect on the growth of other species. These data reveal that the fitness effects of PCD can depend upon genetic relatedness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20131088
JournalBiology letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
  • Inclusive fitness
  • Programmed cell death


Dive into the research topics of 'Programmed death in a unicellular organism has species-specific fitness effects'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this