Navigation Links
Microbes and their hosts -- exploring the complexity of symbiosis in DNA and cell biology

New Rochelle, NY, July 28, 2009The unique association between microorganisms and their hosts, whether insects, plants, or mammals, provides a fascinating view into how microbial symbionts adapt to changing biological environments. Insights into the diversity and complexity of symbiotic relationships are the focus of the current special issue of DNA and Cell Biology, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. The issue is available free online at

"Symbiosis is one of the most rapidly growing fields in biology.... After decades of focusing on bacteria in pure culture, it is evident that to manage them for our benefit, we need to understand bacteria in association with the complex biological environments with which they contend in the natural world," write Jo Handelsman, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of DNA and Cell Biology, Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and President of the Rosalind Franklin Society, and Guest Editor Margaret J. McFall-Ngai, Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in their Editorial.

The issue contains articles representative of the broad range of scientific topics and disciplines related to microbial symbiosis. These include "The Oral Microbial Consortium's Interaction with the Periodontal Innate Defense System," which describes a process called "local chemokine paralysis," in which the membership and characteristics of the bacterial community that populates the gingival crevice in the human mouth affect the ability of the natural immune defenses in the mouth to detect the presence of harmful bacteria and orchestrate their destruction. Author Richard Darveau, PhD, from the University of Washington in Seattle, describes this phenomenon as "another mechanism by which the action of a single bacterial member of the oral consortium can affect the host responses to a wide variety of different bacteria."

The term "symbiont plasticity" describes the mechanisms by which symbiotic microbes adapt to changes in host development, immune responses, and the changing external environment. Jennifer Wernegreen, PhD, from the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, MA, and Diana Wheeler, PhD, from the University of Arizona, in Tucson, use the example of mutualism between Blochmannia and their ant hosts to illustrate how the bacteria rely on genetic, ecological, and physiological means to maintain the functional flexibility that allows them to meet the needs of an ant colony rather than the individual ants that make up the colony. Their thought-provoking review of the impact of symbiotic lifestyle on genetic variation and microbial adaptation is entitled, "Remaining Flexible in Old Alliances: Functional Plasticity in Constrained Mutualisms."

Adam Silver and Joerg Graf from the University of Connecticut, in Storrs, explore the role of virulence factors and specific toxins produced by members of the Aeromonas veronii bacterial group in the article "Prevalence of Genes Encoding the Type Three Secretion System and the Effectors AexT and AexU in the Aeromonas veronii Group." These bacteria can cause a range of infections, from diarrhea and wound infections to life-threatening septicemia and meningitis. The authors demonstrate the presence of the type-3 secretion factors AexT and AexU in a variety of Aeromonas veronii strains and propose different functions for these two toxins.


Contact: Vicki Cohn
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

Related biology news :

1. Hungry microbes share out the carbon in the roots of plants
2. Microbes churn out hydrogen at record rate
3. Cosmopolitan microbes -- hitchhikers on Darwins dust
4. Scientists melt million-year-old ice in search of ancient microbes
5. Methane from microbes: a fuel for the future
6. Nitrous oxide from ocean microbes
7. Paired microbes eliminate methane using sulfur pathway
8. Hot springs microbes hold key to dating sedimentary rocks, researchers say
9. Unexplored microbes hold incredible potential for science and industry
10. New window opens on the secret life of microbes
11. Coral reefs and climate change: Microbes could be the key to coral death
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... Today, LifeBEAM , a leader ... a global leader in technical performance sports clothing ... advanced bio-sensing technology. The hat will allow fitness ... biometrics to improve overall training performance. As a ... bring together the most advanced technology, extensive understanding ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... BERLIN, Germany , October 27, 2015 ... 2015. SMI,s Automated Semantic Gaze Mapping technology (ASGM) automatically ... SMI,s Eye Tracking Glasses , so that ... Suite BeGaze. --> Munich, Germany ... technology (ASGM) automatically maps data from mobile eye tracking ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... , October 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... --> adds Biometrics ... to 2021 as well as Emerging ... research reports to its collection of ... . --> ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... HOLLISTON, Mass. , Nov. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... HART ), a biotechnology company developing bioengineered ... has received written notification from The NASDAQ Stock ... minimum bid price requirements. The letter noted that ... of HART,s common stock having exceeded $1.00 per ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 30, 2015 , ... Imagine Exhibitions and Universal Partnerships & ... in March 2016 at Melbourne Museum in Melbourne, Australia. Immediately following the Australia ... tour dates. The Exhibition is based on Universal Pictures’ Jurassic World, one of ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... TapImmune, Inc. (TPIV), a ... peptide and gene-based immunotherapeutics and vaccines for the treatment ... be presenting at the 8 th Annual LD ... PM PT. Dr. John N. Bonfiglio a ... the presentation and will join TapImmune management in meeting ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015  AbbVie, is introducing ... focuses on a daily routine for managing the life-long ... medication can affect the way the body absorbs it ... their a daily routine are important. The goal of ... patients better manage their hypothyroidism by establishing a daily ...
Breaking Biology Technology: