What is the Hologenome?

New scientific findings indicate the necessity of a revision of our understanding of a complex creature. Until recently, an organism was considered as a singular entity loosely associated with   various individual microbes. However, current research reveals that all complex creatures are a combination of innate and microbial cells as a vast collaborative, co-dependent and competitive network of interlinked ecologies…… a microcosm within.   The extent of this collaboration is so extensive that the volume of microbial cells within and on an organism outnumbers its innate cells by a factor of 10 to 1. Further, the amount of microbial genetic material overwhelms  intrinsic cellular DNA by a factor of 100 to 1. This degree of interdependence requires a new vision of an organism….. neither ‘host’ nor ‘symbiont’ but essential constituents of a ‘holobiont’ as a hologenome.  ‘The hologenome’ references the overarching concept of  the totality of all the holobionts that constitute the biologic system on our planet