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Nat Prod Rep. 2015 Jul;32(7):904-36. doi: 10.1039/c5np00010f.

Defensive symbioses of animals with prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms.

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Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Insect Symbiosis Research Group, Hans-Knöll-Str. 8, 07745 Jena, Germany.


Many organisms team up with microbes for defense against predators, parasites, parasitoids, or pathogens. Here we review the described protective symbioses between animals (including marine invertebrates, nematodes, insects, and vertebrates) and bacteria, fungi, and dinoflagellates. We focus on associations where the microbial natural products mediating the protective activity have been elucidated or at least strong evidence for the role of symbiotic microbes in defense is available. In addition to providing an overview of the known defensive animal-microbe symbioses, we aim to derive general patterns on the chemistry, ecology, and evolution of such associations.

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