Acta Biotheoretica 25 (2-3):111-129 (1976)

A model is proposed which implicates molecular recognition systems as the major controlling factors in life cycle expression. It is envisaged that such systems are important in immune functioning and catabolic, metabolic molecule recognition at both inter- and intea-cellular level. These recognition systems have the following characteristics: Specific recognition molecules , e.g. vertebrate antibodies, invertebrate agglutinins and plant agglutinins may recognise specific substances, e.g. antigens, catabolic and metabolic molecules. The range of possible recognisable substances is very wide and variable. The recognisers may themselves be recognised by other recognisers. Recognisers are usually produced in large amounts only on presentation of the appropriate recognisable molecule. The progressive introduction of new recognisable molecules increases the recogniser interaction, this interaction causing depression of some recogniser types and facilitation of other types among which may be recognisers specific for self components . Low juvenile viability is associated with a restricted range of available recognisers, high adult viability with increasing recogniser range and some auto-immunity/immune depression, senescence with a wide range of available recognisers and extensive auto-immunity/immune depression.Life cycle patterns and their control are discussed. It is suggested control mechanisms may include: Dietary restriction and in some periods complete nutritional abstinence. Specific recogniser depression, genes implicated here are the various antigens found on cell surfaces, in the serum and in various body fluids of vertebrates, e.g. ABO, MNSs, P, Rh, Le and other blood groups, the ABO and Le secretor antigens and the HL-A antigens. In addition the immune response and mixed lymphocyte culture loci are implicated. Finally life cycle control is discussed with relation to sexual selection
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DOI 10.1007/BF00047322
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