A Mixed Self: The Role of Symbiosis in Development

Citation data:

Biological Theory, ISSN: 1555-5542, Vol: 6, Issue: 1, Page: 80-88

Publication Year:
Usage 460
Downloads 452
Abstract Views 4
Link-outs 4
Captures 35
Readers 35
Mentions 1
References 1
Social Media 1
Tweets 1
Citations 19
Citation Indexes 19
Repository URL:
Pradeu, Thomas
Springer Nature; Springer
Most Recent Tweet View All Tweets
article description
Since the 1950s, the common view of development has been internalist: development is seen as the result of the unfolding of potentialities already present in the egg cell. In this paper I show that this view is incorrect, because of the crucial influence of the environment on development. I focus on a fascinating example, that of the role played by symbioses in development, especially bacterial symbioses, a phenomenon found in virtually all organisms (plants, invertebrates, vertebrates). I claim that we must consequently modify our conception of the boundaries of the developing entity, and I show how immunology can help us in accomplishing this task. I conclude that the developing entity encompasses many elements traditionally seen as “foreign”, while I reject the idea that there is no possible distinction between the organism and its environment.