M.J. Neave, A. Apprill, C. Ferrier-Pages, C.R. Voolstra
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, pp. 1-10, (2016)
Endozoicomonas bacteria are emerging as extremely diverse and
flexible symbionts of numerous marine hosts inhabiting oceans worldwide.
Their hosts range from simple invertebrate species, such as sponges and
corals, to complex vertebrates, such as fish. Although widely
distributed, the functional role of Endozoicomonas within their
host microenvironment is not well understood. In this review, we
provide a summary of the currently recognized hosts of Endozoicomonas and their global distribution. Next, the potential functional roles of Endozoicomonas, particularly in light of recent microscopic, genomic, and genetic analyses, are discussed. These analyses suggest that Endozoicomonas
typically reside in aggregates within host tissues, have a free-living
stage due to their large genome sizes, show signs of host and local
adaptation, participate in host-associated protein and carbohydrate
transport and cycling, and harbour a high degree of genomic plasticity
due to the large proportion of transposable elements residing in their
genomes. This review will finish with a discussion on the methodological
tools currently employed to study Endozoicomonas and host interactions and review future avenues for studying complex host-microbial symbioses.