About this Research Topic
Symbiotic relationships between marine microorganisms and their marine invertebrate hosts are continuously formed and co-evolved with a long-term history, which has been considered as one of the most significant ecological relationships in marine ecosystems. Symbiosis impacts not only the phenotypic plasticity of hosts, such as growth, development, metabolism and others but also their resilience within changing environments. Therefore, symbiosis helps to drive the complexity of ecosystems through promoting ecological succession and biodiversity formation. As one of the most representative symbiotic systems in the marine environment, coral holobiont is composed of the coral host and numerous microorganisms, such as Symbiodiniaceae, bacteria, archaea and virus. These symbiotic microorganisms are considered to play a crucial role in the maintenance of high productivity and healthy development of coral reef ecosystems. Meanwhile, in the harsh deep-sea environment, symbiosis is crucial for marine life to survive. For example, some methanotrophic and thiotrophic bacteria live in chemosymbiosis with mussels, clams and tube worms. The host provides a sheltered environment for bacteria, while the bacteria, in turn, supply their host with organic carbon sources.
Research themes on the diversity and distribution of marine invertebrate symbionts and the ecological effects and mechanisms of host-microbe interactions have increasingly been recognized as important for revealing mechanisms underlying adaptation and evolution of marine organisms and for exploring the evolution of typical marine ecosystems. Additionally, it is essential to understand the impact of global climate changes in the Anthropocene era on different forms of symbiosis, and also to foresee how symbiosis may allow marine life to cope with future threats to the biosphere.
This Research Topic aims to motivate the collection and report of the latest information on the community structure and ecological function of marine invertebrates associated microbes, and the interaction between marine invertebrates and their symbiotic microbes in a changing environment. Emerging tools and approaches to study marine invertebrates-microbes symbioses are welcome.
Keywords: Symbiosis, marine invertebrate holobiont, symbiotic microbes, interspecies interactions, global climate change
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