Evolving Ecosystems: Inheritance and Selection in the Light of the Microbiome

Archives of Medical Research
Santiago Sandoval-MottaAlejandro Frank


The importance of microorganisms in human biology is undeniable. The amount of research that supports that microbes have a fundamental role in animal and plant physiology is substantial and increasing every year. Even though we are only beginning to comprehend the broadness and complexity of microbial communities, evolutionary theories need to be recast in the light of such discoveries to fully understand and incorporate the role of microbes in our evolution. Fundamental evolutionary concepts such as diversity, heredity, selection, speciation, etc., which constitute the modern synthesis, are now being challenged, or at least expanded, by the emerging notion of the holobiont, which defines the genetic and metabolic networks of the host and its microbes as a single evolutionary unit. Several concepts originally developed to study ecosystems, can be used to understand the physiology and evolution of such complex systems that constitute "individuals." In this review, we discuss these ecological concepts and also provide examples that range from squids, insects and koalas to other mammals and humans, suggesting that microorganisms have a fundamental role not only in physiology but also in evolution. Current evolutionary theories nee...Continue Reading


Aug 19, 2020·Briefings in Bioinformatics·Denis Awany, Emile R Chimusa
Feb 7, 2019·Frontiers in Genetics·Denis AwanyEmile R Chimusa
Jan 9, 2019·Frontiers in Physiology·Saúl HuitzilMaximino Aldana
May 15, 2020·Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society·Javier Suárez, Adrian Stencel

Related Concepts

Biological Evolution
Physiological Aspects

Trending Feeds


Coronaviruses encompass a large family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as more serious diseases, such as the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19; formally known as 2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans; symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties; in more severe cases, infection can lead to death. This feed covers recent research on COVID-19.

Synthetic Genetic Array Analysis

Synthetic genetic arrays allow the systematic examination of genetic interactions. Here is the latest research focusing on synthetic genetic arrays and their analyses.

Congenital Hyperinsulinism

Congenital hyperinsulinism is caused by genetic mutations resulting in excess insulin secretion from beta cells of the pancreas. Here is the latest research.

Neural Activity: Imaging

Imaging of neural activity in vivo has developed rapidly recently with the advancement of fluorescence microscopy, including new applications using miniaturized microscopes (miniscopes). This feed follows the progress in this growing field.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disease characterized by unexplained disabling fatigue; the pathology of which is incompletely understood. Discover the latest research on chronic fatigue syndrome here.

Epigenetic Memory

Epigenetic memory refers to the heritable genetic changes that are not explained by the DNA sequence. Find the latest research on epigenetic memory here.

Cell Atlas of the Human Eye

Constructing a cell atlas of the human eye will require transcriptomic and histologic analysis over the lifespan. This understanding will aid in the study of development and disease. Find the latest research pertaining to the Cell Atlas of the Human Eye here.

Femoral Neoplasms

Femoral Neoplasms are bone tumors that arise in the femur. Discover the latest research on femoral neoplasms here.

STING Receptor Agonists

Stimulator of IFN genes (STING) are a group of transmembrane proteins that are involved in the induction of type I interferon that is important in the innate immune response. The stimulation of STING has been an active area of research in the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. Here is the latest research on STING receptor agonists.