Accumulating evidence shows that the evolutionary origin of the asymmetric cell fate and stemness begin in the last eukaryotic ancestor (LECA). The mechanisms of asymmetric division and stemness are conserved in descendants and pathogen protists as Entamoeba invadens and Giardia lamblia. It is to be expected that mechanisms for asymmetric cell fate are also conserved in free-living protists and occasionally facultative pathogens. For a better understanding of the ancestral mechanisms involved and their evolution in the protists, we looked for similar mechanisms of cell cycle progression, growth and differentiation in the facultative pathogen protists Colpoda cucullus. We compare what is known about Colpoda cucullus to our findings in E. invadens.
Keywords: Colpoda cucullus, asymmetric division, non identical daughter cells, hypoxia, terminal differentiation, hypoxia induced encystment