Symbiosis

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Symbiosis (from the Greek: σύν syin "with"; and βίωσις biosis "living") is close and often long-term interactions between different biological species. In 1877 Bennett used the word symbiosis (which previously had been used of people living together in community) to describe the mutualistic relationship in lichens[1] . In 1879 by the German mycologist Heinrich Anton de Bary, defined it as "the living together of unlike organisms."[2][3] The definition of symbiosis is in flux, and the term has been applied to a wide range of biological interactions. The symbiotic relationship may be categorized as mutualistic, commensal, or parasitic in nature.[4][5] Some symbiotic relationships are obligate, meaning that both symbionts entirely depend on each other for survival. For example, many lichens consist of fungal and photosynthetic symbionts that cannot live on their own.[2][6][7][8] Others are facultative, meaning that they can but do not have to live with the other organism.

Symbiotic relationships include those associations in which one organism lives on another (ectosymbiosis, such as mistletoe), or where one partner lives inside the other (endosymbiosis, such as lactobacilli and other bacteria in humans or zooxanthelles in corals). Symbiotic relationships may be either obligate, i.e., necessary for the survival of at least one of the organisms involved, or facultative, where the relationship is beneficial but not essential for survival of the organisms.[9][10]

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