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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2008;635:102-12. doi: 10.1007/978-0-387-09550-9_9.

Host-microbe symbiosis: the squid-Vibrio association--a naturally occurring, experimental model of animal/bacterial partnerships.

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Departmentt of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA.


Many, if not most, animals have specific symbiotic relationships with bacterial partners. Recent studies suggest that vertebrates create alliances with highly complex consortia of hundreds to thousands of prokaryotic phylotypes. In contrast, invertebrates often have binary associations, i.e., relationships with a population of a single bacterial species. In this chapter, the association between the Hawaiian sepiolid squid Euprymna scolopes and the marine luminous bacterium Vibrio fisheri is highlighted. This symbiosis offers a relatively simple, yet naturally occurring, association that can be experimentally manipulated. Studies of this system are providing insight into the precise mechanisms by which a beneficial animal-bacterial symbiosis can be established and maintained.

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