Blending disciplines can be transformative in science, yet interdisciplinary mergers should not escape healthy skepticism. Indeed, the history of biology shows us that debates about the relative importance of nuclear genetics vs. microbial symbiosis in eukaryotic biology are among the most engaging. Today's technology may help resolve this century old debate as it illuminates the interwoven genomics and functions of symbionts with their host genome. Thus, we can now assert that all subdisciplines of zoology require microbiology. Although controversial to some, the evidence from studies of host-associated microbial communities indicates that metazoans are hologenomes - interconnected compositions of animal and microbes.
Published by Elsevier GmbH.