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Getting cozy: hidden microbial interactions in nature

Orphan, Victoria J. (2011) Getting cozy: hidden microbial interactions in nature. Environmental Microbiology Reports, 3 (1). pp. 16-18. ISSN 1758-2229.

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Understanding microbial interactions is integral to microbial ecology and yet this fundamental component has proven to be one of the most challenging to define and study in nature. While trophic structure, competition and fitness are often discussed in the context of microbial communities, the description of microbe-microbe symbiotic associations are rare (Overmann and Schubert, 2002), and if identified, are often poorly characterized. Broadly defined, symbiosis covers a wide spectrum of interactions, ranging from beneficial associations (syntrophy and mutualism) to deleterious relationships (parasitism). Syntrophic associations, for example, have long been recognized as a fundamental component of organic carbon mineralization in anaerobic environments (Schink, 2002). Parasitic interactions between microorganisms, however, are far less frequently described and perhaps more difficult to define. In most cases, symbiotic microbial associations involve close physical coupling between partners, and through these intimate interspecies interactions, can lead to metabolic innovation and niche expansion. Regardless of the nature of the symbiosis, it is becoming clear that these intimate microbial associations are likely prevalent in nature, and await the proper tools for discovery.

Item Type:Article
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Orphan, Victoria J.0000-0002-5374-6178
Additional Information:© 2011 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Article first published online: 8 Feb. 2011.
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110307-110634731
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Official Citation:(2011), Crystal ball – 2011. Environmental Microbiology Reports, 3: 1–26. doi: 10.1111/j.1758-2229.2010.00236.x
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:22687
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:08 Mar 2011 18:43
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 02:39

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