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Nat Prod Rep. 2018 Apr 25;35(4):357-378. doi: 10.1039/c7np00053g.

Parallel lives of symbionts and hosts: chemical mutualism in marine animals.

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Department of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA 84112.


Covering: up to 2018 Symbiotic microbes interact with animals, often by producing natural products (specialized metabolites; secondary metabolites) that exert a biological role. A major goal is to determine which microbes produce biologically important compounds, a deceptively challenging task that often rests on correlative results, rather than hypothesis testing. Here, we examine the challenges and successes from the perspective of marine animal-bacterial mutualisms. These animals have historically provided a useful model because of their technical accessibility. By comparing biological systems, we suggest a common framework for establishing chemical interactions between animals and microbes.

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