If vesicles can fuse to membranes fairly easily, what’s there to stop a whole bunch of cells fusing together?

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If vesicles can fuse to membranes fairly easily, what’s there to stop a whole bunch of cells fusing together?

In: Biology

3 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Nothing inherently stops it, and in fact there are types of organisms where that happens. For instance, there are two main categories of slime molds. All slime molds go through phases where they are single cells, and then they come together into a large multicellular Mass, but in some slime molds those cells actually lose their cell walls and become in essence a single huge cell.

The same thing happens in your own body too. Every one of your muscle fibers is a single cell, but they are multinucleated cells because they originated from hundreds or thousands of different cells that fuse together.

The reason it does not always happen is because there are a lot of disadvantages to becoming all the same cell as well as advantages. The rule of powers means that as a three-dimensional object like a cell gets larger, it has less surface per unit of volume. Since cells have to exchange all of their gases and nutrients across the membrane, once they get too large they can’t effectively do that anymore.

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