Symbionts: An Overview

  • John R. PreerJr.
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 40)


Symbiosis is often used to imply a relationship between organisms in which one or both partners are benefited. More often, however, biologists prefer to retain the original definition of de Bary (5): the simple “living together” of different organisms without regard to benefit. Parasitism is thus a special case of symbiosis. This Conference is focused on extrachromosomal elements of inheritance. Consequently, we are not concerned with parasitism, for if one of the partners is damaged by the other, then the relationship is not stable as required by inheritance. For the most part, in this section of the Volume we arbitrarily restrict our consideration of symbionts to cases in which the partners are both organisms, saving temperate viruses and plasmids for other sections. There are two exceptions, however, for Dr. Van Etten (Van Etten et al., this Volume) covers newly discovered viruses in the alga Chlorella, and Dr. Schuster (Schuster, this Volume) covers viruses and virus-like elements in the amebaflagellate Naegleria.


Basal Body Bacterial Endosymbiont Extrachromosomal Element Toxic Particle Intracellular Symbiont 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • John R. PreerJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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