I’d like to share an email exchange I had some months ago with Eugene Rosenberg, one of the authors of some extremely interesting papers outlining the hologenome theory of evolution. He and his wife, Ilana Zilber-Rosenberg apparently completely independently from me articulated the hologenome theory from their experiences in microbiology and nutrition, and coral microbiology in particular.
In 2009, I found some Rosenberg papers describing the hologenome theory from 2008 and 2009. I was delighted at the clear and lucid writing and exposition, and that their observations leading to the hologenome concept came from such a different field to my own.
My development of the hologenome theory in 1991-1994 came from two avenues of work I’d been pursuing for some years:
1) vertebrate commensal microbes and their role in controlling critical hormones necessary for macro-organism fitness and
2) the role of endophytic and epiphytic microbes in plant performance in agriculture, including of course rhizobia and numerous other plant-associated bacteria.