Salvador Nebreda, Ricard Solé

Paper #: 14-04-006

The emergence of multicellularity and developmental programs are among the major problems of evolutionary biology. Traditionally, research in this area has been based on the combination of data analysis and experimental work on one hand and theoretical approximations on the other. A third possibility is provided by computer simulation models, which allow to both simulate reality and explore alternative possibilities. These in silico models offer a powerful window to the possible and the actual by means of modeling how virtual cells and groups of cells can evolve complex interactions beyond a set of isolated entities. Here we present several examples of such models, each one illustrating the potential for artificial modeling of the transition to multicellularity.