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Mark O. Martin

Welcome back, Merry and Elio!

Something that I heard discussed at the ASM Beneficial Microbes meeting in San Diego in October: if a high percentage of a population is "infected" with a microbe, can one really call it a pathogen? Isn't it more likely a mutualist that sometimes causes problems?

Buchnera clearly had a positive and straightforward advantage to the aphid partner. I was pretty sure that Wolbachia would have some kind of advantage to the host, as well. You present some fascinating proof of this idea, with more work to come.

Thanks for this great essay!

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