Learning how to live together: genomic insights into prokaryote-animal symbioses.

Institut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biologia Evolutiva, Universitat de València, Apartado de correos 22085. 46071 València and CIBER de Epidemiología y Salud Pública, Spain.
Nature Reviews Genetics (Impact Factor: 39.79). 04/2008; 9(3):218-29. DOI: 10.1038/nrg2319
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Our understanding of prokaryote-eukaryote symbioses as a source of evolutionary innovation has been rapidly increased by the advent of genomics, which has made possible the biological study of uncultivable endosymbionts. Genomics is allowing the dissection of the evolutionary process that starts with host invasion then progresses from facultative to obligate symbiosis and ends with replacement by, or coexistence with, new symbionts. Moreover, genomics has provided important clues on the mechanisms driving the genome-reduction process, the functions that are retained by the endosymbionts, the role of the host, and the factors that might determine whether the association will become parasitic or mutualistic.

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