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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2000 Jun;3(3):270-5.

Bacterial endosymbionts in animals.

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  • 1Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson, 85721, USA. nmoran@u.arizona.edu


Molecular phylogenetic studies reveal that many endosymbioses between bacteria and invertebrate hosts result from ancient infections followed by strict vertical transmission within host lineages. Endosymbionts display a distinctive constellation of genetic properties including AT-biased base composition, accelerated sequence evolution, and, at least sometimes, small genome size; these features suggest increased genetic drift. Molecular genetic characterization also has revealed adaptive, host-beneficial traits such as amplification of genes underlying nutrient provision.

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