Universität Wien FIND
Warning! The directory is not yet complete and will be amended until the beginning of the term.

300132 SE Basics and current progress in theory of evolution (2020W)

3.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 30 - Biologie
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 15 participants
Language: English



Due to the COVID19 situation the course will take place digitally this semester. Students will receive more information in due course.
The Seminar will take place on Mondays at 2 pm. The first meeting will be on October 5th at 2pm.


Aims, contents and method of the course

This semester, we will address the problem of delineation of Cell types. To this end, we will read and discuss some of the recent literature on he topic.

Assessment and permitted materials

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria


Examination topics

Reading list


Introduction: Problem of delineation (Species, (Traits,) Cell types)
P. Griffith, Squaring the Circle: Natural Kinds with Historical Essences. In: Robert A. Wilson 1999, Species : New Interdisciplinary Essays, A Bradford Book, Cambridge, Mass.
R. Boyd, Homeostasis, Species and Higher Taxa. In: Robert A. Wilson 1999, Species : New Interdisciplinary Essays, A Bradford Book, Cambridge, Mass.
M. K. Vickaryous, B. K. Hall, Human cell type diversity, evolution, development, and classification with special reference to cells derived from the neural crest. Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 81, 425-455 (2006).

Cell types: What are they?
O. Hobert, Regulatory logic of neuronal diversity: terminal selector genes and selector motifs. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 105, 20067-20071 (2008).
D. Arendt, The evolution of cell types in animals: emerging principles from molecular studies. Nat Rev Genet 9, 868-882 (2008).
O. Hobert, Terminal Selectors of Neuronal Identity. Curr Top Dev Biol 116, 455-475 (2016).
O. Hobert, L. Glenwinkel, J. White, Revisiting Neuronal Cell Type Classification in Caenorhabditis elegans. Curr Biol 26, R1197-R1203 (2016).
D. Arendt et al., The origin and evolution of cell types. Nat Rev Genet 17, 744-757 (2016).

Cell Types examples:
P. R. Steinmetz et al., Independent evolution of striated muscles in cnidarians and bilaterians. Nature 487, 231-234 (2012).
S. M. Jahnel, M. Walzl, U. Technau, Development and epithelial organisation of muscle cells in the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis. Front Zool 11, 44 (2014).
O. A. Tarazona, L. A. Slota, D. H. Lopez, G. Zhang, M. J. Cohn, The genetic program for cartilage development has deep homology within Bilateria. Nature 533, 86-89 (2016).

One potential Mechanism for Cell type evolutionary origination: Stress
R. E. Michod, Y. Viossat, C. A. Solari, M. Hurand, A. M. Nedelcu, Life-history evolution and the origin of multicellularity. J Theor Biol 239, 257-272 (2006).
T. H. Oakley, D. I. Speiser, How Complexity Originates: The Evolution of Animal Eyes. Annu. Rev. Ecol. Evol. Syst. 46, 237-260 (2015).
E. M. Erkenbrack et al., The mammalian decidual cell evolved from a cellular stress response. PLoS Biol 16, e2005594 (2018).
G. P. Wagner, E. M. Erkenbrack, A. C. Love, Stress-Induced Evolutionary Innovation: A Mechanism for the Origin of Cell Types. Bioessays 41, e1800188 (2019).
A. M. Nedelcu, R. E. Michod, Stress Responses Co-Opted for Specialized Cell Types During the Early Evolution of Multicellularity: The Role of Stress in the Evolution of Cell Types Can Be Traced Back to the Early Evolution of Multicellularity. Bioessays 42, e2000029 (2020).

Association in the course directory

PhD, MAN 3, M-WZB, MZO W-4

Last modified: Tu 24.11.2020 13:49