Theodicy: speciation and the microbiome (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, November 02, 2021, 16:47 (32 days ago) @ David Turell

Fungi, bacteria, and viruses play a role:

https://phys.org/news/2021-11-darwin-magnificent-mystery-microbiome.html

"Darwin's On the Origin of Species put forth a seminal and revolutionary thesis for the life sciences in 1859: Populations with a common ancestor evolve over time with enough change to become different species that no longer successfully interbreed. This process of descent with modification continues over time to produce lineages of new species. Darwin famously referred to the process of one species becoming two as "the mystery of mysteries."

"More than 160 years later, the life sciences are experiencing a second revolution based on the newly appreciated knowledge that all plant and animal species are stable or temporary hosts to a microbiome living in or on the body.

***

"The article includes examples of how the microbiome of a hybrid—the offspring of two species—can be different and potentially harmful from that of its two parental species. "The microbiome field is relatively new but already full of research and ideas. Through this work, we are emphasizing the diverse roles of microorganisms in animal biology and that not every microbiome is a fit for every host," said Miller, who is also president and founder of the Vanderbilt University Microbiome Society.

"This work highlights how the evidence for microbiomes as agents of host speciation has essentially reached a tipping point for microbiologists, evolutionary biologists, chemists, immunologists and developmental biologists. It sets the stage for a more integrative phase of study, funding and meetings focused on host-microbe interactions shaping the origin of species.

"'We compiled a rich summary of evidence that shows hybrids generated between different, closely related animal species—including mites, flies, wasps, fish, mice, deer and horses—have microbiomes that are different from their parentals. We showed that some of the hybrids suffer or even die because of these altered microbiomes, adding cumulative weight to the evidence that host-associated microbiomes should no longer be overlooked as components to understanding the origin of species," Miller said."

Comment: this possibility has been raised here before. An other reason for God introducing these organisms. Even with the dangers.


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