BIOSCI Administrator biosci-help at
Wed Apr 19 22:01:07 EST 1995

We have received a proposal below for a new newsgroup,


This group is currently a BIOSCI prototype newsgroup, so it must
either pass successfully through the voting process or be shut down.

Discussion on the following proposal will now be open through 30 April
on BIOFORUM/bionet.general (*not* on BIONEWS/bionet.announce).  For
those who are not on the BIOFORUM/bionet.general newsgroup currently,
either read bionet.general on USENET or contact one of the following
biosci addresses to sign up by e-mail:

Subscription Address                 Location
--------------------                 --------
biosci at               Europe, Africa, and Central Asia
biosci at                   Americas and the Pacific Rim

One warning, however: BIOFORUM/bionet.general is a "chatty" newsgroup
and many other items will be discussed there besides this newsgroup
proposal.  USENET news access is definitely better than e-mail if you
want to monitor only this discussion.

Discussion Guidelines
Please do not post one-line messages saying things like "I am in favor
of such a newsgroup".  We will collect votes later.  The discussion
period is an opportunity for anyone to bring up reservations about the
proposed charter below and to propose modifications prior to the vote.
If the charter is perfect as is, then there is no need for anyone to
say anything!!!

The newsgroup discussion leader may submit a revised proposal in light
of the discussion, and the new charter would be included in the call
for votes which will go out on 1 May (Newsgroup Discussion leaders -
please note this deadline - if no revisions are received before the
deadline, the original charter will be voted on.).

Please be aware that only one vote is counted per e-mail address, so
it is necessary to have your own account in order to vote.  Multiple
votes from the same address are not accepted.  If you are interested
in the following newsgroup, but do not have an e-mail address of your
own, please obtain one from your computer center before the call for
votes is issued.

Proposal to establish SYMBIOSIS-RESEARCH/bionet.biology.symbiosis

Proposed USENET name: bionet.biology.symbiosis

Proposed mailing list name: SYMBIOSIS-RESEARCH

Proposed mailing addresses: symbios at
			    symbios at

Discussion leader: 

		James F. White, Jr.
		Department of Biology
		Auburn University at Montgomery
		Montgomery, AL 36117

		Tel: 334-244-3739
		FAX: 334-244-3826
		Email: epichloe at

Purpose of this group:

Symbiotic associations are common in nature.  Many types of organisms 
form symbiotic associations to increase fitness and survival of one or 
both partners in the association.  In some symbiotic associations 
improved nutritional capabilities are the basis of the associations.  For 
example, in the marine environment photosynthetic dinoflagellates become 
endosymbiotic (zooxanthellae) of corals and other heterotrophs.  This 
symbiosis accounts for the high productivity of the coral reef habitat.  
Similarly, heterotrophic marine Foraminifera often contain green algae 
and diatoms,  sea squirts often contain photosynthetic cyanobacteria, 
and marine tubellarians often contain chloroplasts taken from diatoms.  
Many land plants associate with microbes (e.g., mycorrhizae and 
rhizobia) in the soil that enable them to derive nutrients more 
efficiently.  Other symbiotic associations enhance the defensive 
capabilities of one or both partners.  Examples here include the fungal 
endophytes of grasses, pines, and other plants, where endophytes 
produce chemicals that protect leaves from herbivory.  Another example 
is Acacia plants that associate with ants which attack herbivores 
that attempt to consume leaves.  Symbiotic associations often function 
to increase the enzymatic capabilities of the symbiotic partners.  
Through symbiosis with cellulose-degrading microbes, ruminants and 
termites gain access to cellulases.  Similarly, through association 
with mosquito larvae, pitcher plants gain access to enzymes necessary 
to degrade the bodies of insects which they entrap.  It is generally 
accepted that endosymbiotic events among primitive cells contributed to 
the evolution of eukaryotes.  The 'endosymbiotic hypothesis' for the 
origin of chloroplasts and mitochondria is an important concept for 
understanding evolution of living things on earth.

The proposed newsgroup will enable symbiologists to communicate more 
effectively across barriers of subdisciplines of biology and geographical 
distance.  It will enable us to evolve a common vocabulary for describing 
symbiotic associations.  The absence of a clearly defined and widely 
accepted vocabulary presently plagues research in symbiosis.  This 
newsgroup will enable symbiologists to organize meetings, symposia, 
seminars, etc....  Research in symbiosis will be facilitated by enabling 
researchers to consult a broad cross-section of symbiosis researchers 
about problems or ideas.

Subscriptions are welcome from all persons interested in symbiosis 

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