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Plants and animals have evolved ever since their appearance in a largely microbial world. Their own cells are less numerous than the microorganisms that they host and with whom they interact closely. The study of these interactions, termed microbial symbioses, has benefited from the development of new conceptual and technical tools.
We are gaining an increasing understanding of the functioning, evolution and central importance of symbiosis in the biosphere. Since the origin of eukaryotic cells, microscopic organisms of our planet have integrated our very existence into their ways of life. The interaction between host and symbiont brings into question the notion of the individual and the traditional representation of the evolution of species, and the manipulation of symbioses facilitates fascinating new perspectives in biotechnology and health. Recent discoveries show that association is one of the main properties of organisms, making a more integrated view of biology necessary.
Microbial Symbioses provides a deliberately “symbiocentric” outlook, to exhibit how the exploration of microbial symbioses enriches our understanding of life, and the potential future for this discipline.
- Offers a concise summary of the most recent discoveries in the field
- Shows how symbiosis is acquiring a central role in the biology of the 21st century by transforming our understanding of living things
- Presents scientific issues, but also societal and economic related issues (biodiversity, biotechnology) through examples from all branches of the tree of life
Academics, researchers, post-graduate students in the fields of biochemistry, biology, environmental science
- 1: The Concept of Symbiosis, from Past to Present
- 1.1 A brief history
- 1.2 Defining symbiosis
- 1.3 Studying symbiosis: questions and tools from past to present
- 2: Symbiosis and Nutrition
- 2.1 Becoming autotrophic
- 2.2 Assimilating nitrogen and other elements
- 2.3 Digesting food
- 2.4 Recycling waste
- 3: Symbiosis and Other Functions
- 3.1 Seeing, being seen, hiding: bioluminescence
- 3.2 Movement: phoresy
- 3.3 Reproduction
- 3.4 Protection and defense
- 4: Outline of How Symbioses Work
- 4.1 Symbiosis acquisition
- 4.2 Dialogue between host and symbionts: who is in charge?
- 4.3 The end of the symbiosis: trapped, digested or discharged?
- 5: Symbiosis and Evolution
- 5.1 Becoming a host or a symbiont
- 5.2 Maintaining a symbiosis
- 5.3 Coevolution, co-speciation and asymmetry in the symbiotic relationship
- 5.4 Morpho-anatomical consequences for hosts
- 5.5 Genetic and genomic consequences for symbionts
- 5.6 Integration between partners and the concept of organelle
- 5.7 The origins of the eukaryotic cell
- 5.8 Symbiosis imposes a new perspective on the tree of life and on evolution
- 5.9 Are the concepts of holobiont and hologenome ultimately useful? The story continues…
- 6: Symbiosis and the Biosphere
- 6.1 Symbiosis and the current biosphere
- 6.2 Symbiosis and history of the biosphere
- 7: Good Uses for Symbiosis
- 7.1 Some avenues in fundamental research
- 7.2 Some avenues for applied research
- 7.3 Some avenues in ecology
- Conclusion and Perspectives
- No. of pages:
- © ISTE Press - Elsevier 2017
- 24th November 2016
- ISTE Press - Elsevier
- Hardcover ISBN:
- eBook ISBN:
Sébastien Duperron is Lecturer in Biology at the University Pierre and Marie Curie, Paris. He belongs to the laboratory of aquatic organisms and ecosystems, where his research focuses on the symbioses between invertebrates and chemosynthetic bacteria in the deep ocean.
Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Adaptation to Extreme Environments Team, France
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