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Nutrition and Symbiosis*

Nature volume 160, pages 7881 (19 July 1947) | Download Citation

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Abstract

NUTRITION may be taken to include all those processes by which chemical substances essential to the life of a given species, be it plant or animal, become available for anabolism. Thus in plants, nutrition includes photosynthesis and root absorption, as well as the processes of digestion which occur in animals and insectivorous plants. The term ‘symbiosis’ in its original and widest sense signifies any phenomenon, from a balanced parasitism to complete mutualism, in which each partner gains nutritional benefit from the presence of the other. Such diverse phenomena as the harbouring of specific fauna and flora in the gut of insects and vertebrates and the occurrence of algae in the cells of Hydra viridis are, in the widest sense of the term, symbiotic.

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  1. Hannah Dairy Research Institute, Kirkhill, Ayr

    • E. C. OWEN

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https://doi.org/10.1038/160078a0

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