Review

Microbiomes as sources of emergent host phenotypes

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Science  27 Sep 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6460, pp. 1405-1409
DOI: 10.1126/science.aay0240

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Abstract

Microbial communities associated with animals exert powerful influences on host physiology, regulating metabolism and immune function, as well as complex host behaviors. The importance of host–microbiome interactions for maintaining homeostasis and promoting health raises evolutionarily complicated questions about how animals and their microbiomes have coevolved, and how these relationships affect the ways that animals interact with their environment. Here, we review the literature on the contributions of host factors to microbial community structure and corresponding influences of microbiomes on emergent host phenotypes. We focus in particular on animal behaviors as a basis for understanding potential roles for the microbiome in shaping host neurobiology.

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