This is a collection of books related to the topic of symbiosis. The list is associated with my 2011 "Memetics" book - which is now available. For the main list of memetics books, see here.
|Image||Title, author, date and description
|Symbiotic Planet: A New Look At Evolution by (1999)|
Although Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution laid the foundations of modern biology, it did not tell the whole story. Most remarkably, The Origin of Species said very little about, of all things, the origins of species. Darwin and his modern successors have shown very convincingly how inherited variations are naturally selected, but they leave unanswered how variant organisms come to be in the first place. In Symbiotic Planet, renowned scientist Lynn Margulis shows that symbiosis, which simply means members of different species living in physical contact with each other, is crucial to the origins of evolutionary novelty. Ranging from bacteria, the smallest kinds of life, to the largest—the living Earth itself—Margulis explains the symbiotic origins of many of evolution’s most important innovations. The very cells we’re made of started as symbiotic unions of different kinds of bacteria. Sex—and its inevitable corollary, death—arose when failed attempts at cannibalism resulted in seasonally repeated mergers of some of our tiniest ancestors. Dry land became forested only after symbioses of algae and fungi evolved into plants. Since all living things are bathed by the same waters and atmosphere, all the inhabitants of Earth belong to a symbiotic union. Gaia, the finely tuned largest ecosystem of the Earth’s surface, is just symbiosis as seen from space. Along the way, Margulis describes her initiation into the world of science and the early steps in the present revolution in evolutionary biology; the importance of species classification for how we think about the living world; and the way “academic apartheid” can block scientific advancement. Written with enthusiasm and authority, this is a book that could change the way you view our living Earth.
|Acquiring Genomes: The Theory of the Origins of the Species by (2003)|
How do new species evolve? Although Darwin identified inherited variation as the creative force in evolution, he never formally speculated where it comes from. His successors thought that new species arise from the gradual accumulation of random mutations of DNA. But despite its acceptance in every major textbook, there is no documented instance of it. Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan take a radically new approach to this question. They show that speciation events are not, in fact, rare or hard to observe. Genomes are acquired by infection, by feeding, and by other ecological associations, and then inherited. Acquiring Genomes is the first work to integrate and analyze the overwhelming mass of evidence for the role of bacterial and other symbioses in the creation of plant and animal diversity. It provides the most powerful explanation of speciation yet given.
|Microcosmos: Four Billion Years of Microbial Evolution by (1997)|
Microcosmos brings together the remarkable discoveries of microbiology of the past two decades and the pioneering research of Dr. Margulis to create a vivid new picture of the world that is crucial to our understanding of the future of the planet. Addressed to general readers, the book provides a beautifully written view of evolution as a process based on interdependency and thei nterconnectedness of all life on the planet.
|Symbiogenesis: A New Principle of Evolution by (2010)|
More than eighty years ago, before we knew much about the structure of cells, Russian botanist Boris Kozo-Polyansky brilliantly outlined the concept of symbiogenesis, the symbiotic origin of cells with nuclei. It was a half-century later, only when experimental approaches that Kozo-Polyansky lacked were applied to his hypotheses, that scientists began to accept his view that symbiogenesis could be united with Darwin's concept of natural selection to explain the evolution of life. After decades of neglect, ridicule, and intellectual abuse, Kozo-Polyansky's ideas are now endorsed by virtually all biologists. Kozo-Polyansky's seminal work is presented here for the first time in an outstanding annotated translation, updated with commentaries, references, and modern micrographs of symbiotic phenomena.
|Darwin's Blind Spot: Evolution Beyond Natural Selection by (2002)|
While Charles Darwin's vision of evolution was brilliant, natural selection ignores a crucial force that helps to explain the diversity and wonder of life: symbiosis. In Darwin's Blind Spot, Frank Ryan shows how the blending of life forms through symbiosis has resulted in gigantic leaps in evolution. The dependence of many flowering plants on insects and birds for pollination is an important instance of symbiosis. More surprising may be the fact that our cells have incorporated bacteria that allow us to breathe oxygen. And the equivalent of symbiosis within a species -- cooperation -- has been a vital, although largely ignored, force in human evolution. In Ryan's view, cooperation, not competition, lies at the heart of human society. Ryan mixes stories of the many strange and beautiful results of symbiosis with accounts of the dramatic historic rivalries over the expansion of Darwin's theory. He also examines controversial research being done today, including studies suggesting that symbiosis among viruses led to the evolution of mammals and thus of humans. Too often Darwin's interpreters have put excessive emphasis on competition and struggle as the only forces in evolution. But the idea of "survival of the fittest" does not always reign. Symbiosis is critically important to the richness of Earth's life forms.
|The Ghosts of Evolution: Nonsensical Fruit, Missing Partners, and Other Ecological Anachronisms by (2002)|
A new vision is sweeping through ecological science: The dense web of dependencies that makes up an ecosystem has gained an added dimension-the dimension of time. Every field, forest, and park is full of living organisms adapted for relationships with creatures that are now extinct. In a vivid narrative, Connie Barlow shows how the idea of "missing partners" in nature evolved from isolated, curious examples into an idea that is transforming how ecologists understand the entire flora and fauna of the Americas. This fascinating book will enrich the experience of any amateur naturalist, as well as teach us that the ripples of biodiversity loss around us are just the leading edge of what may well become perilous cascades of extinction.
|Symbiosis: An Introduction to Biological Associations by (2000)|
The first edition of this book, published by University Press of New England in 1986, sold over 2500 copies, and was received as the best introductory overview of this broad field. Quite a lot has happened in the field of symbiosis in the past 10 years, especially concerning molecular mechanisms. Ahmadjian and Paracer have thoroughly updated their book, addressing advances in the field and the emergence of fields such as cellular microbiology, immunoparasitology, and endocytobiology, which have revealed new aspects of symbiosis. It is the only book to cover all aspects of symbiosis at an introductory level.
|Symbiosis as a Source of Evolutionary Innovation: Speciation and Morphogenesis by (1991)|
A departure from mainstream biology, the idea of symbiosis - as in the genetic and metabolic interactions of the bacterial communities that became the earliest eukaryotes and eventually evolved into plants and animals - has attracted the attention of a growing number of scientists.These original contributions by symbiosis biologists and evolutionary theorists address the adequacy of the prevailing neo-Darwinian concept of evolution in the light of growing evidence that hereditary symbiosis, supplemented by the gradual accumulation of heritable mutation, results in the origin of new species and morphological novelty. They include reports of current research on the evolutionary consequences of symbiosis, the protracted physical association between organisms of different species. Among the issues considered are individuality and evolution, microbial symbioses, animalbacterial symbioses, and the importance of symbiosis in cell evolution, ecology, and morphogenesis.Lynn Margulis, Distinguished Professor of Botany at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, is the modern originator of the symbiotic theory of cell evolution. Once considered heresy, her ideas are now part of the microbiological revolution. René Fester is a graduate student in the biological sciences at Northern Arizona University.
|The Symbiotic Habit by (1994)|
Throughout the natural world, organisms have responded to predators, inadequate resources, or inclement conditions by forming ongoing mutually beneficial partnerships--or symbioses--with different species. Symbiosis is the foundation for major evolutionary events, such as the emergence of eukaryotes and plant eating among vertebrates, and is also a crucial factor in shaping many ecological communities. The Symbiotic Habit provides an accessible and authoritative introduction to symbiosis, describing how symbioses are established, function, and persist in evolutionary and ecological time. Angela Douglas explains the evolutionary origins and development of symbiosis, and illustrates the principles of symbiosis using a variety of examples of symbiotic relationships as well as nonsymbiotic ones, such as parasitic or fleeting mutualistic associations. Although the reciprocal exchange of benefit is the key feature of symbioses, the benefits are often costly to provide, causing conflict among the partners. Douglas shows how these conflicts can be managed by a single controlling organism that may selectively reward cooperative partners, control partner transmission, and employ recognition mechanisms that discriminate between beneficial and potentially harmful or ineffective partners. The Symbiotic Habit reveals the broad uniformity of symbiotic process across many different symbioses among organisms with diverse evolutionary histories, and demonstrates how symbioses can be used to manage ecosystems, enhance food production, and promote human health.
|Symbiotic Interactions by (1994)|
Symbiotic interactions are those relationships between organisms that permit some species to overcome their physiological limitations by exploiting the capacities of others. This volume presents a modern synthesis of scientific knowledge of symbiosis, from the molecular mechanisms underlying its function to the ecological and evolutionary impact of such associations. With an emphasis on basic principles, the book takes the novel approach that symbiosis is a vehicle by which many organisms have gained access to complex metabolic capabilities. Examples are offered to illustrate this concept, including photosynthetic algae in corals, nitrogen-fixing bacteria in plant roots, and cellulose-degrading micro-organisms in herbivorous mammals. The traditional view of symbioses as mutually beneficial relationships is explicitly abandoned. The book draws together the wide-ranging literature on the topic, providing an integrated introduction that is accessible to undergraduates. The work serves as an excellent text for courses in symbiosis, and as a supplementary resource for students in ecology, evolutionary biology, and parasitology. As an up-to-date review of the field, the book will also be valued by graduate students and researchers.
|Concepts of Symbiogenesis: A Historical and Critical Study of the Research of Russian Botanists by (1992)|
"Symbiogenesis", a term first coined by the Russian botanist K.S. Merezhkovsky in the late 19th century, is the evolution of new life forms, from the physical union of different, once-independent partners. In this book Liya Khakhina traces the development of the concept in Russian and Soviety scientific literature, reviewing the contributions of Merezhkovsky, A.S. Famintsyn, B.M. Kozo-Polyansky and other prominent Russian scientists, to theories of symbiosis in evolution. This book provides further information to English-speaking scientists on the history of the early development of symbiosis theory. The editors have written an introduction to Khakhina's book (published in the Soviet Union in 1979) and have also included an appendix by Donna Mehos about the American anatomist Ivan E. Wallin, whose theory of symbionticism - species origin by the acquisition of microbial symbionts - resembled the theories of the Russians.
|Slanted Truths: Essays on Gaia, Symbiosis and Evolution by (1997)|
Lynn Margulis, one of the most provocative scientific thinkers of our time, and her son, the writer Dorion Sagan, here present a selection from their many essays published in the last decade and a half. Margulis's scientific contributions are legendary. Her proposal that eukaryotic cells (the cells of all multicellular animals and plants) are made up of symbiotic unions of more primitive cells was at first widely derided but is now mainstream science. She has described the previously unrecognized role microbial life plays in the maintenance of all life on earth. And she is, with James Lovelock, one of the founders of Gaia theory. In these essays, perhaps better than in any of her other books, one can see how these apparently unrelated interests combine into a single, coherent scientific world-view about the natural tendency of living systems to form complex interactive communities.
|Liaisons of Life: From Hornworts to Hippos, How the Unassuming Microbe Has Driven Evolution by (2001)|
A fascinating exploration of symbiosis at the microscopic level and its radical extension of Darwinism Microbes have long been considered dangerous and disgusting-in short, "scum." But by forming mutually beneficial relationships with nearly every creature, be it alga with animals or zooplankton with zebrafish, microbes have in fact been innovative players in the evolutionary process. Now biologist and award-winning science writer Tom Wakeford shows us this extraordinary process at work. He takes us to such far-flung locales as underwater volcanoes, African termite mounds, the belly of a cow and even the gaps between our teeth, and there introduces us to a microscopic world at turns bizarre, seductive, and frightening, but ever responsible for advancing life in our macroscopic world. In doing so he also justifies the courage and vision of a series of scientists-from a young Beatrix Potter to Lynn Margulis-who were persecuted for believing evolution is as much a matter of interdependence and cooperation as it is great too-little-told tales of evolutionary science.
|Evolution by Association: A History of Symbiosis by (1994)|
In this comprehensive history of symbiosis theory--the first to be written--Jan Sapp masterfully traces its development from modest beginnings in the late nineteenth century to its current status as one of the key conceptual frameworks for the life sciences. The symbiotic perspective on evolution, which argues that "higher species" have evolved from a merger of two or more different kinds of organisms living together, is now clearly established with definitive molecular evidence demonstrating that mitochondria and chloroplasts have evolved from symbiotic bacteria. In telling the exciting story of an evolutionary biology tradition that has effectively challenged many key tenets of classical neo-Darwinism, Sapp sheds light on the phenomena, movements, doctrines, and controversies that have shaped attitudes about the scope and significance of symbiosis. Engaging and insightful, Evolution by Association will be avidly read by students and researchers across the life sciences.
|Dazzle Gradually: Reflections on the Nature of Nature by (2007)|
At the crossroads of philosophy and science, the sometimes-dry topics of evolution and ecology come alive in this new collection of essays--many never before anthologized. Learn how technology may be a sort of second nature, how the systemic human fungus Candida albicans can lead to cravings for carrot cake and beer, how the presence of life may be why there's water on Earth, and many other fascinating facts. The essay "Metametazoa" presents perspectives on biology in a philosophical context, demonstrating how the intellectual librarian, pornographer, and political agitator Georges Bataille was influenced by Russian mineralogist Vladimir Vernadsky and how this led to his notion of the absence of meaning in the face of the sun--which later influenced Jacques Derrida, thereby establishing a causal chain of influence from the hard sciences to topics as abstract as deconstruction and post-modernism. In "Spirochetes Awake" the bizarre connection between syphilis and genius in the life of Friedrich Nietzsche is traced. The astonishing similarities of the Acquired-Immune-Deficiency-Syndrome symptoms with those of chronic spirochete infection, it is argued, contrast sharply with the lack of evidence that "HIV is the cause of AIDS". Throughout these readings we are dazzled by the intimacy and necessity of relationships between us and our other planetmates. In our ignorance as "civilized" people we dismiss, disdain, and deny our kinship with the only productive life forms that sustain this living planet.
|Evolution: A View from the 21st Century by (2011)|
James A. Shapiro's Evolution: A View from the 21st Century proposes an important new paradigm for understanding biological evolution. Shapiro demonstrates why traditional views of evolution are inadequate to explain the latest evidence, and presents a compelling alternative. His information- and systems-based approach integrates advances in symbiogenesis, epigenetics, and mobile genetic elements, and points toward an emerging synthesis of physical, information, and biological sciences.
|Virolution by (2011)|
From an acclaimed scientific thinker and writer comes the most exciting advance in evolution since Dawkins' The Selfish Gene — how the extraordinary role of viruses in evolution is revolutionizing biology and medicine. Combining Darwin, the double helix, the genome project, and viruses to explain the last great mystery of evolution, this book is the product of Frank Ryan's decade of research at the frontiers of a new science called viral symbiosis, and the amazing revolution that it has had in these few years. Still the greatest breakthrough in biological science, Darwin's theory of evolution depended on steady variation of living things over time — but he was unable to explain how this variation occurred. Since publication of the Origin of Species, we have discovered three main sources for this variation — mutation, hybridization, and epigenetics. Then on February 12, 2001, the evidence for perhaps the most extraordinary cause of variation was simultaneously released by two organizations—the code for the entire human genome. Not only was the human genome unbelievably simple (only 10 times more complicated than a bacteria), but embedded in the code were large fragments that were derived from viruses — fragments that were vital to evolution of all organisms, and the evidence for a fourth and vital source of variation — viruses. As scientists begin to look for evidence of viral involvement in more and more processes, they have discovered that they are vital in nearly every case — and with this understanding comes the possibility of manipulating the role of the viruses to help fight a huge range of diseases.
|A Planet of Viruses by (2011)|
Viruses are the smallest living things known to science, yet they hold the entire planet in their sway. We are most familiar with the viruses that give us colds or the flu, but viruses also cause a vast range of other diseases, including one disorder that makes people sprout branch-like growths as if they were trees. Viruses have been a part of our lives for so long, in fact, that we are actually part virus: the human genome contains more DNA from viruses than our own genes. Meanwhile, scientists are discovering viruses everywhere they look: in the soil, in the ocean, even in caves miles underground. This fascinating book explores the hidden world of viruses—a world that we all inhabit. Here Carl Zimmer, popular science writer and author of Discover magazine’s award-winning blog The Loom, presents the latest research on how viruses hold sway over our lives and our biosphere, how viruses helped give rise to the first life-forms, how viruses are producing new diseases, how we can harness viruses for our own ends, and how viruses will continue to control our fate for years to come. In this eye-opening tour of the frontiers of biology, where scientists are expanding our understanding of life as we know it, we learn that some treatments for the common cold do more harm than good; that the world’s oceans are home to an astonishing number of viruses; and that the evolution of HIV is now in overdrive, spawning more mutated strains than we care to imagine.
|Parasite Rex: Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Most Dangerous Creatures by (2001)|
For centuries, parasites have lived in nightmares, horror stories, and the darkest shadows of science. In Parasite Rex, Carl Zimmer takes readers on a fantastic voyage into the secret universe of these extraordinary life-forms—which are not only among the most highly evolved on Earth, but make up the majority of life’s diversity. Traveling from the steamy jungles of Costa Rica to the parasite-riddled war zone of southern Sudan, Zimmer introduces an array of amazing creatures that invade their hosts, prey on them from within, and control their behavior. His vivid descriptions bring to life parasites that can change DNA, rewire the brain, make men more distrustful and women more outgoing, and turn hosts into the living dead. This comprehensive, gracefully written book brings parasites out into the open and uncovers what they can teach us all about the most fundamental survival tactics in the universe—the laws of Parasite Rex.
|Riddled with Life: Friendly Worms, Ladybug Sex, and the Parasites That Make Us Who We Are by (2008)|
We treat disease as our enemy. Germs and infections are things we battle. But what if we’ve been giving them a bum rap? From the earliest days of life on earth, disease has evolved alongside us. And its presence isn't just natural but is also essential to our health. Drawing on the latest research, Zuk answers a fascinating range of questions about disease: Why do men die younger than women? Why are we attracted to our mates? Why does the average male bird not have a penis? Why do we - as well as insects, birds, pigs, cows, goats, and even plants - get STDs? Why do we have sex at all, rather than simply splitting off copies of ourselves like certain geckos? And how is our obsession with cleanliness making us sicker? In this witty, engaging book, evolutionary biologist Zuk makes us rethink our instincts as she argues that disease is our partner, not our foe. Reconsider the fearsome parasite!
|Why We Get Sick: The New Science of Darwinian Medicine by (1996)|
The answers are in this groundbreaking book by two founders of the emerging science of Darwinian medicine, who deftly synthesize the latest research on disorders ranging from allergies to Alzheimer's and from cancer to Huntington's chorea. Why We Get Sick compels readers to reexamine the age-old attitudes toward sickness.
|Parasites in Social Insects by (1998)|
This book analyzes for the first time how parasites shape the biology of social insects: the ants, wasps, bees, and termites. Paul Schmid-Hempel provides an overview of the existing knowledge of parasites in social insects. Current ideas are evaluated using a broad database, and the role of parasites for the evolution and maintenance of the social organization and biology of insects is carefully scrutinized. In addition, the author develops new insights, especially in his examination of the intricate relationships between parasites and their social hosts through the rigorous use of evolutionary and ecological concepts. Schmid-Hempel identifies gaps in our knowledge about parasites in social insects and uses models to develop new questions for future research. In addition, issues that are usually considered separately - such as division of labor, genetics, immunology, and epidemiology - are placed in a common framework to analyze two of the most successful adaptations of life: parasitism and sociality. This work will appeal not only to practitioners in the fields of behavioral ecology and sociobiology, but also to others interested in host-parasite relationships or in social organisms, such as apiculturists struggling to overcome the problems arising from mite infestations of honeybee colonies.
|The Biology of Mutualism: Ecology and Evolution by (1988)|
The view of nature as `red in tooth and claw', as a jungle in which competition and predation are the predominant themes, has long been important in both the scientific and popular literature. However, in the past decade another view has become widespread among ecologists: the idea that mutualisms - mutually beneficial interactions between species - are just as important as competition and predation. This book is one of the first to explore this theme. Ideas and theories applicable to all sorts of mutualisms are presented and, where appropriate, examined in the light of concrete data. Themes explored include: the organisms involved, both animal and plant; how specializations evolved once mutualisms formed; how mutualisms affect population dynamics and community structure; and the role of mutualisms in different environments. The book will be of special interest to ecologists and a wide range of biologists.
|Mutualism: Ants and their Insect Partners by (1994)|
A mutualism is an interaction between individuals of two different species of organism in which both benefit from the association. With a focus on mutualisms between ants and aphids, coccids, membracids and lycaenids, this volume provides a detailed account of the many different facets of mutualisms. Mutualistic interactions not only affect the two partners, but can also have consequences for higher levels of organization. By linking theory to case studies, the authors present an integrated account of processes and patterns of mutualistic interactions at different levels of organisation, from individuals to communities to ecosystems. Interactions between ants and their insect partners and their outcomes are explained from a resource-based, cost-benefit perspective. Covering a fascinating and growing subject in modern ecology, this book will be of interest to community and evolutionary ecologists and entomologists, at both research and graduate student level.
Tim Tyler |