Science

Each Species Interacts With Its Own Microbial Community

By Rodney Rafols , Dec 03, 2016 01:20 AM EST
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Life on Earth is a matter of interdependence with one another. Each species is dependent on another for survival. This is true even down to the smallest species. Each species interacts with its own microbial community, and they benefit from one another.

A laboratory study has looked into four different groups of animals. Studied as well are the microorganisms that come along with them. The study has shown that animals that have inherent microbial relationships are much better physically than those whose microbes have been implanted.

Andrew Brook, co-author of the study and a Vanderbilt graduate said that previous studies focused mainly on the negative aspects of microbes on animals. The new study though shows that microbes can benefit animals as well. Seth Bordenstein, an Associate Professor of Biological Sciences and Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology at Vanderbilt University said that this interaction between hosts and microorganisms is called phylosymbiosis.

All animals have a living community within its own self. This is called the microbiome, according to the Vanderbilt University's site. While all animals have microorganisms that thrive, biologists have yet to figure out how such interactions work. The interactions can be complicated, and shows that life as it is has much complicated relationships in of itself.

For the study, the researchers have looked into four animals. These include the deer mice, fruit flies, mosquitoes and jewel wasps. What the research has shown is that the relationships are not random, but has been shaped by the host's evolution. That has been the assessment made by Bordenstein.

Two see if a natural symbiotic relationship can be replicated, the researchers raised deer mice and jewel wasps in the lab. They then placed microorganisms on them to see if the interaction would be the same. The result has shown that the microorganisms do not digest food as well as those already naturally bound to their hosts, as Science Daily reports.

Natural interrelationships play a role in the survival of different species. Animals and other living things have a symbiotic relationship. Each species interacts with its own microbial community. This balance can be delicate, as wildlife populations shift with climate change.

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