The lower amount of transcript at takeover is probably related to the fact that the transcripts are present in mature immunocytes, most of which, in this phase of the colonial blastogenetic cycle, undergo cell death by apoptosis (Cima et al., 2010).
Haemocytes and blastogenetic cycle in the colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri: a matter of life and death.
Natural apoptosis during the blastogenetic cycle of the colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri: a morphological analysis.
Since the whole body of Botryllus regenerates in every blastogenetic cycle, new stem cell niches have to be continuously reestablished and engrafted by stem cells, and this could be a process during which conspecific stem cell lineages could compete.
Embryonic versus blastogenetic development in the compound ascidian Botryllus schlosseri: insights from Pitx expression patterns.