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J Innate Immun. 2019;11(5):393-404. doi: 10.1159/000495115. Epub 2018 Dec 19.

Functions of the Microbiota for the Physiology of Animal Metaorganisms.

Author information

1
Institute of Experimental Medicine, Christian Albrecht University Kiel, Kiel, Germany.
2
Zoological Institute, Christian Albrecht University Kiel, Kiel, Germany.
3
Department of Evolutionary Theory, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Plön, Germany.
4
Institute of General Microbiology, Christian Albrecht University Kiel, Kiel, Germany.
5
Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology, Christian Albrecht University Kiel, Kiel, Germany.
6
Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Fishes, GEOMAR - Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research, Kiel, Germany.
7
National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark.
8
Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology, Christian Albrecht University Kiel, Kiel, Germany, f.sommer@ikmb.uni-kiel.de.

Abstract

Animals are usually regarded as independent entities within their respective environments. However, within an organism, eukaryotes and prokaryotes interact dynamically to form the so-called metaorganism or holobiont, where each partner fulfils its versatile and crucial role. This review focuses on the interplay between microorganisms and multicellular eukaryotes in the context of host physiology, in particular aging and mucus-associated crosstalk. In addition to the interactions between bacteria and the host, we highlight the importance of viruses and nonmodel organisms. Moreover, we discuss current culturing and computational methodologies that allow a deeper understanding of underlying mechanisms controlling the physiology of metaorganisms.

KEYWORDS:

Host; Metaorganism; Microbiome; Microbiota; Physiology

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