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Volume 19 Issue 10, October 2021

Volume 19 Issue 10

‘A shining example’, inspired by the Reviews on p654 and p666.

Cover design: Philip Patenall


  • Comment |

    Humankind relies on host–microbe symbioses and the ecosystems they form for diverse services, including food and health. It is important to understand how symbioses will fare in a world facing rapid global change and how adaptation and resilience of symbioses can be aided to secure their services for future generations.

    • Ute Hentschel

Research Highlights

  • Research Highlight |

    This study shows that co-existence of the four Lactobacillus species in the gut of the honey bee is mainly dependent on the pollen-rich diet of the host, and mediated by the specialization of the gut symbionts towards distinct pollen-derived nutrients.

    • Andrea Du Toit
  • In Brief |

    This study shows that IgA responses push gut fungi towards mutualism and curtail invasiveness.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • In Brief |

    This study shows that flagellate epibionts channel nutrient flows towards their large diatom host.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • In Brief |

    A study using synthetic communities shows that the root microbiome exhibits host preferences and that this correlates with invasiveness.

    • Ursula Hofer
  • Research Highlight |

    A recent study finds that the gut microbiota generates diurnal rhythms in innate immune responses that synchronize with host feeding rhythms in mice, allowing the host to anticipate exposure to pathogens.

    • Ashley York
  • In Brief |

    This study shows that the application of probiotic bacteria to seaweed can protect from pathogen-induced bleaching.

    • Ursula Hofer

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Recent updates on the squid–vibrio symbiosis show mechanistic details that underlie the establishment and maintenance of a symbiotic association along the apical surfaces of an animal epithelium.

    • Christoph Giez
    • Thomas C. G. Bosch

News & Analysis

  • Genome Watch |

    This month’s Genome Watch highlights recent advances in genome editing of parasitic worms that affect one-fifth of humans globally.

    • Geetha Sankaranarayanan
    • Matthew Berriman
    • Gabriel Rinaldi
  • Under the Lens |

    This month’s Under the Lens discusses the potential of in silico feedback control applied to individual microbial cells, highlighting its use for study of single-cell dynamics and patterning behaviours.

    • Lisa Zillig
    • Harrison Steel


  • Review Article |

    Symbiotic interactions can be neutral, harmful or have beneficial effects for host organisms. In this Review, Drew, Stevens and King discuss the evolutionary transitions of host–microorganism symbioses along the parasite–mutualist continuum, the mechanisms underlying evolutionary changes, the selective pressures involved and common empirical approaches for studying them.

    • Georgia C. Drew
    • Emily J. Stevens
    • Kayla C. King
  • Review Article |

    In this Review, Mallott and Amato summarize the prevalence of phylosymbiosis across the animal kingdom and explore the microbial community assembly processes and related host traits that contribute to phylosymbiosis. They find that phylosymbiosis is less prevalent in taxonomically richer microbiomes across the animal kingdom, except in mammals, perhaps owing to a unique combination of mammalian traits that influence the microbiota.

    • Elizabeth K. Mallott
    • Katherine R. Amato


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