Symbiotic interactions of microorganisms are widespread in nature, and support fundamentally important processes in diverse areas of biology that range from health and disease to ecology and the environment. Here, David Relman discusses the selection of articles in this Focus issue, which reflects the exciting advances in our understanding of intimate partnerships between organisms and their environments.
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de Bary, H. A. Die Erscheinung der Symbiose (Karl J. Trubner, Strasburg, 1879).
Smuts, J. C. Holism and Evolution (MacMillan, London,1926).
Phillips, J. Psychopathology and the narrative self. Philos. Psychiatr. Psychol. 10, 313–328 (2003).
De Morgan, A. A Budget of Paradoxes (Longmans, London, 1872).
Bordenstein, S. R., Marshall, M. L., Fry, A. J., Kim, U. & Wernegreen, J. J. The tripartite associations between bacteriophage, Wolbachia, and arthropods. PLoS Pathog. 2, e43 (2006).
Panteleev, D. et al. The endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia enhances the nonspecific resistance to insect pathogens and alters behavior of Drosophila melanogaster. Genetika 43, 1277–1280 (2007).
Stewart, F. J., Newton, I. L. & Cavanaugh, C. M. Chemosynthetic endosymbioses: adaptations to oxic–anoxic interfaces. Trends Microbiol. 13, 439–448 (2005).
Harmer, T. L. et al. Free-living tube worm endosymbionts found at deep-sea vents. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 74, 3895–3898 (2008).
Eckburg, P. B. et al. Diversity of the human intestinal microbial flora. Science 308, 1635–1638 (2005).
Ley, R. E., Turnbaugh, P. J., Klein, S. & Gordon, J. I. Microbial ecology: human gut microbes associated with obesity. Nature 444, 1022–1023 (2006).
Dethlefsen, L., McFall-Ngai, M. & Relman, D. A. An ecological and evolutionary perspective on human–microbe mutualism and disease. Nature 449, 811–818 (2007).
Ley, R. et al. Evolution of mammals and their gut microbes. Science 320, 1647–1651 (2008).
McFall-Ngai, M. Adaptive immunity: care for the community. Nature 445, 153 (2007).
Behrens, S. et al. Linking microbial phylogeny to metabolic activity at the single cell level using enhanced element labeling–catalyzed reporter deposition fluorescence in situ hybridization (EL–FISH) and NanoSIMS. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 74, 3143–3150 (2008).
D.A.R. is supported by a National Institutes of Health Director's Pioneer Award and a Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award.
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Relman, D. 'Til death do us part': coming to terms with symbiotic relationships. Nat Rev Microbiol 6, 721–724 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrmicro1990
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