Functions of the microbiota for the physiology of animal metaorganisms

Daniela Esser, Janina Lange, Georgios Marinos, Michael Sieber, Lena Best, Daniela Prasse, Jay Bathia, Malte Rühlemann, Katrin Boersch, Cornelia Jaspers, Felix Sommer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Animals are usually regarded as independent entities within their respective environments. However, within an organism, eukaryotes and prokaryotes interact dynamically to form the so-called metaorganism or holobiont, where each partner fulfils its versatile and crucial role. This review focuses on the interplay between microorganisms and multicellular eukaryotes in the context of host physiology, in particular aging and mucus-associated crosstalk. In addition to the interactions between bacteria and the host, we highlight the importance of viruses and nonmodel organisms. Moreover, we discuss current culturing and computational methodologies that allow a deeper understanding of underlying mechanisms controlling the physiology of metaorganisms.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Innate Immunity
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)393-404
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Metaorganism
  • Host
  • Microbiota
  • Microbiome
  • Physiology


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