Residing on, and within every metazoan species, is a diverse and complex metropolis of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, viruses, microsporidians, and parasites) known collectively as the microbiome. The occupation of higher organisms by eukaryotic and prokaryotic colonists has been a key factor in driving evolution and radiation of life on Earth (Rosenberg and Zilber-Rosenberg 2016). In fact, this multigenomic microcosm has become so integral to animal homeostasis that it can no longer be considered separate from the individual. Thus, it has been proposed that animals represent a vastly intricate biological ‘super organism’ in which a proportion of the physiological function is derived from microbial activity (Dethlefsen, McFall-Ngai et al. 2007).
|Effective start/end date||1/10/16 → 1/10/17|