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The evolution of host-symbiont dependence

Fisher, Roberta M.; Henry, Lee M.; Cornwallis, Charlie K. LU ; Kiers, E. Toby and West, Stuart A. (2017) In Nature Communications 8.
Abstract

Organisms across the tree of life form symbiotic partnerships with microbes for metabolism, protection and resources. While some hosts evolve extreme dependence on their symbionts, others maintain facultative associations. Explaining this variation is fundamental to understanding when symbiosis can lead to new higher-level individuals, such as during the evolution of the eukaryotic cell. Here we perform phylogenetic comparative analyses on 106 unique host-bacterial symbioses to test for correlations between symbiont function, transmission mode, genome size and host dependence. We find that both transmission mode and symbiont function are correlated with host dependence, with reductions in host fitness being greatest when... (More)

Organisms across the tree of life form symbiotic partnerships with microbes for metabolism, protection and resources. While some hosts evolve extreme dependence on their symbionts, others maintain facultative associations. Explaining this variation is fundamental to understanding when symbiosis can lead to new higher-level individuals, such as during the evolution of the eukaryotic cell. Here we perform phylogenetic comparative analyses on 106 unique host-bacterial symbioses to test for correlations between symbiont function, transmission mode, genome size and host dependence. We find that both transmission mode and symbiont function are correlated with host dependence, with reductions in host fitness being greatest when nutrient-provisioning, vertically transmitted symbionts are removed. We also find a negative correlation between host dependence and symbiont genome size in vertically, but not horizontally, transmitted symbionts. These results suggest that both function and population structure are important in driving irreversible dependence between hosts and symbionts.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Nature Communications
volume
8
publisher
Nature Publishing Group
external identifiers
  • scopus:85021705075
  • wos:000404643700001
ISSN
2041-1723
DOI
10.1038/ncomms15973
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e37baf6d-0538-49e0-a879-03aa6e8b808b
date added to LUP
2017-07-18 14:35:13
date last changed
2017-09-18 11:38:33
@article{e37baf6d-0538-49e0-a879-03aa6e8b808b,
  abstract     = {<p>Organisms across the tree of life form symbiotic partnerships with microbes for metabolism, protection and resources. While some hosts evolve extreme dependence on their symbionts, others maintain facultative associations. Explaining this variation is fundamental to understanding when symbiosis can lead to new higher-level individuals, such as during the evolution of the eukaryotic cell. Here we perform phylogenetic comparative analyses on 106 unique host-bacterial symbioses to test for correlations between symbiont function, transmission mode, genome size and host dependence. We find that both transmission mode and symbiont function are correlated with host dependence, with reductions in host fitness being greatest when nutrient-provisioning, vertically transmitted symbionts are removed. We also find a negative correlation between host dependence and symbiont genome size in vertically, but not horizontally, transmitted symbionts. These results suggest that both function and population structure are important in driving irreversible dependence between hosts and symbionts.</p>},
  articleno    = {15973},
  author       = {Fisher, Roberta M. and Henry, Lee M. and Cornwallis, Charlie K. and Kiers, E. Toby and West, Stuart A.},
  issn         = {2041-1723},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {07},
  publisher    = {Nature Publishing Group},
  series       = {Nature Communications},
  title        = {The evolution of host-symbiont dependence},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms15973},
  volume       = {8},
  year         = {2017},
}