Rethinking "mutualism" in diverse host-symbiont communities.

  title={Rethinking "mutualism" in diverse host-symbiont communities.},
  author={Alexandra A Mushegian and Dieter Ebert},
  journal={BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology},
  volume={38 1},
While examples of bacteria benefiting eukaryotes are increasingly documented, studies examining effects of eukaryote hosts on microbial fitness are rare. Beneficial bacteria are often called "mutualistic" even if mutual reciprocity of benefits has not been demonstrated and despite the plausibility of other explanations for these microbes' beneficial effects on host fitness. Furthermore, beneficial bacteria often occur in diverse communities, making mutualism both empirically and conceptually… CONTINUE READING
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