Animals in a bacterial world, a new imperative for the life sciences
Margaret McFall-Ngaia,1, Michael G. Hadfieldb,1, Thomas C. G. Boschc, Hannah V. Careyd, Tomislav Domazet-Lošoe, Angela E. Douglasf, Nicole Dubilierg, Gerard Eberlh, Tadashi Fukamii, Scott F. Gilbertj, Ute Hentschelk, Nicole Kingl, Staffan Kjellebergm, Andrew H. Knolln, Natacha Kremera, Sarkis K. Mazmaniano, Jessica L. Metcalfp, Kenneth Nealsonq, Naomi E. Piercer, John F. Rawlss, Ann Reidt, Edward G. Rubya, Mary Rumphou, Jon G. Sandersr, Diethard Tautzv, and Jennifer J. Wernegreenw
Edited by David M. Karl, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, and approved January 17, 2013 (received for review December 2, 2012)
In the last two decades, the widespread application of genetic and genomic approaches has revealed a bacterial world astonishing in its ubiquity and diversity. This review examines how a growing knowledge of the vast range of animal–bacterial interactions, whether in shared ecosystems or intimate symbioses, is fundamentally altering our understanding of animal biology. Specifically, we highlight recent technological and intellectual advances that have changed our thinking about five questions: how have bacteria facilitated the origin and evolution of animals; how do animals and bacteria affect each other’s genomes; how does normal animal development depend on bacterial partners; how is homeostasis maintained between animals and their symbionts; and how can ecological approaches deepen our understanding of the multiple levels of animal–bacterial interaction. As answers to these fundamental questions emerge, all biologists will be challenged to broaden their appreciation of these interactions and to include investigations of the relationships between and among bacteria and their animal partners as we seek a better understanding of the natural world.
bacterial roles animal origins reciprocal effects animal–bacterial genomics bacteria-driven development microbiome and host physiology nested ecosystems
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Author contributions: M.M.-N., M.G.H., T.C.G.B., H.V.C., T.D.-L., A.E.D., N.D., G.E., T.F., S.F.G., U.H., N. King, S.K., A.H.K., N. Kremer, S.K.M., J.L.M., K.N., N.E.P., J.F.R., A.R., E.G.R., M.R., J.G.S., D.T., and J.J.W. wrote the paper.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
This article is a PNAS Direct Submission.
This article contains supporting information online at www.pnas.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1073/pnas.1218525110/-/DCSupplemental.