How microbiomes influence metazoan development: insights from history and Drosophila modeling of gut-microbe interactions

Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2013;29:571-92. doi: 10.1146/annurev-cellbio-101512-122333. Epub 2013 Jun 26.

Abstract

Since Metchnikoff developed his views on the intestinal microflora, much effort has been devoted to understanding the role of gut microbiomes in metazoan physiology. Despite impressive data sets that have been generated by associating a phenotype-causing commensal community with its corresponding host phenotype, the field continues to suffer from descriptive and often contradictory reports. Hence, we cannot yet draw clear conclusions as to how the modifications of microbiomes cause physiological changes in metazoans. Unbiased, large-scale genetic screens to identify key genes, on both microbial and host sides, will be essential to gain mechanistic insights into gut-microbe interactions. The Drosophila genome-commensal microbiome genetic model has proven to be well suited to dissect the complex reciprocal cross talk between the host and its microbiota. In this review, we present a historical account, current views, and novel perspectives for future research directions based on the insights gleaned from the Drosophila gut-microbe interaction model.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila / microbiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Microbiota*
  • Models, Animal*