Contextual organismality

Beyond pattern to process in the emergence of organisms

Samuel L. Díaz-Muñoz, Amy M. Boddy, Gautam Dantas, Christopher M. Waters, Judith L Bronstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Biologists have taken the concept of organism largely for granted. However, advances in the study of chimerism, symbiosis, bacterial-eukaryote associations, and microbial behavior have prompted a redefinition of organisms as biological entities exhibiting low conflict and high cooperation among their parts. This expanded view identifies organisms in evolutionary time. However, the ecological processes, mechanisms, and traits that drive the formation of organisms remain poorly understood. Recognizing that organismality can be context dependent, we advocate elucidating the ecological contexts under which entities do or do not act as organisms. Here we develop a “contextual organismality” framework and provide examples of entities, such as honey bee colonies, tumors, and bacterial swarms, that can act as organisms under specific life history, resource, or other ecological circumstances. We suggest that context dependence may be a stepping stone to the development of increased organismal unification, as the most integrated biological entities generally show little context dependence. Recognizing that organismality is contextual can identify common patterns and testable hypotheses across different entities. The contextual organismality framework can illuminate timeless as well as pressing issues in biology, including topics as disparate as cancer emergence, genomic conflict, evolution of symbiosis, and the role of the microbiota in impacting host phenotype.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2669-2677
Number of pages9
JournalEvolution
Volume70
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

Fingerprint

Symbiosis
eclosion
Chimerism
Honey
Bees
Microbiota
organisms
Eukaryota
Neoplasms
symbiosis
Phenotype
neoplasms
honey bee colonies
chimerism
swarms
honey
eukaryote
tumor
bee
biologists

Keywords

  • Adaptation
  • conflict
  • cooperation
  • ecology
  • mutualism
  • organism
  • symbiosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Contextual organismality : Beyond pattern to process in the emergence of organisms. / Díaz-Muñoz, Samuel L.; Boddy, Amy M.; Dantas, Gautam; Waters, Christopher M.; Bronstein, Judith L.

In: Evolution, Vol. 70, No. 12, 01.12.2016, p. 2669-2677.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Díaz-Muñoz, SL, Boddy, AM, Dantas, G, Waters, CM & Bronstein, JL 2016, 'Contextual organismality: Beyond pattern to process in the emergence of organisms', Evolution, vol. 70, no. 12, pp. 2669-2677. https://doi.org/10.1111/evo.13078
Díaz-Muñoz, Samuel L. ; Boddy, Amy M. ; Dantas, Gautam ; Waters, Christopher M. ; Bronstein, Judith L. / Contextual organismality : Beyond pattern to process in the emergence of organisms. In: Evolution. 2016 ; Vol. 70, No. 12. pp. 2669-2677.
@article{af656640add14ebd8c9620f1945a0c5b,
title = "Contextual organismality: Beyond pattern to process in the emergence of organisms",
abstract = "Biologists have taken the concept of organism largely for granted. However, advances in the study of chimerism, symbiosis, bacterial-eukaryote associations, and microbial behavior have prompted a redefinition of organisms as biological entities exhibiting low conflict and high cooperation among their parts. This expanded view identifies organisms in evolutionary time. However, the ecological processes, mechanisms, and traits that drive the formation of organisms remain poorly understood. Recognizing that organismality can be context dependent, we advocate elucidating the ecological contexts under which entities do or do not act as organisms. Here we develop a “contextual organismality” framework and provide examples of entities, such as honey bee colonies, tumors, and bacterial swarms, that can act as organisms under specific life history, resource, or other ecological circumstances. We suggest that context dependence may be a stepping stone to the development of increased organismal unification, as the most integrated biological entities generally show little context dependence. Recognizing that organismality is contextual can identify common patterns and testable hypotheses across different entities. The contextual organismality framework can illuminate timeless as well as pressing issues in biology, including topics as disparate as cancer emergence, genomic conflict, evolution of symbiosis, and the role of the microbiota in impacting host phenotype.",
keywords = "Adaptation, conflict, cooperation, ecology, mutualism, organism, symbiosis",
author = "D{\'i}az-Mu{\~n}oz, {Samuel L.} and Boddy, {Amy M.} and Gautam Dantas and Waters, {Christopher M.} and Bronstein, {Judith L}",
year = "2016",
month = "12",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/evo.13078",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "70",
pages = "2669--2677",
journal = "Evolution; international journal of organic evolution",
issn = "0014-3820",
publisher = "Society for the Study of Evolution",
number = "12",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Contextual organismality

T2 - Beyond pattern to process in the emergence of organisms

AU - Díaz-Muñoz, Samuel L.

AU - Boddy, Amy M.

AU - Dantas, Gautam

AU - Waters, Christopher M.

AU - Bronstein, Judith L

PY - 2016/12/1

Y1 - 2016/12/1

N2 - Biologists have taken the concept of organism largely for granted. However, advances in the study of chimerism, symbiosis, bacterial-eukaryote associations, and microbial behavior have prompted a redefinition of organisms as biological entities exhibiting low conflict and high cooperation among their parts. This expanded view identifies organisms in evolutionary time. However, the ecological processes, mechanisms, and traits that drive the formation of organisms remain poorly understood. Recognizing that organismality can be context dependent, we advocate elucidating the ecological contexts under which entities do or do not act as organisms. Here we develop a “contextual organismality” framework and provide examples of entities, such as honey bee colonies, tumors, and bacterial swarms, that can act as organisms under specific life history, resource, or other ecological circumstances. We suggest that context dependence may be a stepping stone to the development of increased organismal unification, as the most integrated biological entities generally show little context dependence. Recognizing that organismality is contextual can identify common patterns and testable hypotheses across different entities. The contextual organismality framework can illuminate timeless as well as pressing issues in biology, including topics as disparate as cancer emergence, genomic conflict, evolution of symbiosis, and the role of the microbiota in impacting host phenotype.

AB - Biologists have taken the concept of organism largely for granted. However, advances in the study of chimerism, symbiosis, bacterial-eukaryote associations, and microbial behavior have prompted a redefinition of organisms as biological entities exhibiting low conflict and high cooperation among their parts. This expanded view identifies organisms in evolutionary time. However, the ecological processes, mechanisms, and traits that drive the formation of organisms remain poorly understood. Recognizing that organismality can be context dependent, we advocate elucidating the ecological contexts under which entities do or do not act as organisms. Here we develop a “contextual organismality” framework and provide examples of entities, such as honey bee colonies, tumors, and bacterial swarms, that can act as organisms under specific life history, resource, or other ecological circumstances. We suggest that context dependence may be a stepping stone to the development of increased organismal unification, as the most integrated biological entities generally show little context dependence. Recognizing that organismality is contextual can identify common patterns and testable hypotheses across different entities. The contextual organismality framework can illuminate timeless as well as pressing issues in biology, including topics as disparate as cancer emergence, genomic conflict, evolution of symbiosis, and the role of the microbiota in impacting host phenotype.

KW - Adaptation

KW - conflict

KW - cooperation

KW - ecology

KW - mutualism

KW - organism

KW - symbiosis

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84996940150&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84996940150&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/evo.13078

DO - 10.1111/evo.13078

M3 - Article

VL - 70

SP - 2669

EP - 2677

JO - Evolution; international journal of organic evolution

JF - Evolution; international journal of organic evolution

SN - 0014-3820

IS - 12

ER -