Symbiotic interactions are those relationships between organisms that permit some species to overcome their physiological limitations by exploiting the capacities of others. This volume presents a modern synthesis of scientific knowledge of symbiosis, from the molecular mechanisms underlying its function to the ecological and evolutionary impact of such associations. With an emphasis on basic principles, the book takes the novel approach that symbiosis is a vehicle by which many organisms have gained access to complex metabolic capabilities. Examples are offered to illustrate this concept, including photosynthetic algae in corals, nitrogen-fixing bacteria in plant roots, and cellulose-degrading micro-organisms in herbivorous mammals. The traditional view of symbioses as mutually beneficial relationships is explicitly abandoned. The book draws together the wide-ranging literature on the topic, providing an integrated introduction that is accessible to undergraduates. The work serves as an excellent text for courses in symbiosis, and as a supplementary resource for students in ecology, evolutionary biology, and parasitology. As an up-to-date review of the field, the book will also be valued by graduate students and researchers.
'It will stimulate both aspiring and established biologists.'
David L. Hawksworth, Nature, Vol. 371. October 1994
'Angela Douglas has taken a much needed approach to the subject by considering the important, intriguing and relevant aspects of symbiosis as separate subjects ... a well written and informative book. It is clearly presented with informative figures and some high quality electron and light micrographs. As a teacher of undergraduates in the field of symbiosis, I will include this book as essential course reading. In addition, Angela Douglas has achieved her
aim of providing an integrated text on symbiosis which will also be of interest to postgraduate students and other researchers of this subject.'
I.R. Sanders, New Phytol, Volume 127, 1994
'This book is most timely. It will stimulate both aspiring and established biologists.'
David L. Hawksworth, Nature, Vol. 371, October 1994
It is refreshing ... a thought-provoking book which should appeal to a wide audience ... well referenced ... well illustrated, with clear diagrams and fascinating scanning electron micrographs. This book is strongly recommended for anyone needing an overview of the subject. Patricia E.J. Wiltshire, Biologist (1995) 42 (2)
`The book covers a wide range of symbioses ... It looks at many different aspects ... I found it readable and ... accurate. The breadth helped to make it interesting ... It must be the sign of a good book that it leaves the reader intrigued and wanting to find out more.'
Christopher Howe, University of Cambridge, TREE vol. 9, no. 12, December 1994
1: An introduction to symbiosis
2: Symbiosis as a source of novel metabolic capabilities
3: Novel structures in symbiosis
4: Nutritional interactions in symbiosis
5: How symbioses are formed
6: Regulation of microbial symbionts
7: The ecological impact of symbiosis
8: Symbiosis and the eukaryotic cell