On the Origin of Symbiosis

  • Jan SappEmail author
Part of the Cellular Origin, Life in Extreme Habitats and Astrobiology book series (COLE, volume 17)


Studies of symbiosis by botanists in the nineteenth century were advanced in virtual conflict with the germ theory of disease, and the emphasis on the struggle for existence in evolutionary biology. While many microbiologists focused on the pathogenic effects of infectious germs in animals from the perspective of medicine, botanists examined the morphological and beneficial effects of intimate microbe–plant relationships from an evolutionary perspective. Discussions of competing meanings of the term “symbiosis” have included problems of anthropomorphisms on the one hand and difficulties in cost–benefit analysis on the other.


Neisseria Gonorrhoeae Mutual Benefit Symbiotic Association Intimate Association Mutualistic Symbiosis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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