Either of two organisms that live in symbiosis with one another.
- Some organisms have enlisted symbionts to provide traits or functions found in other kingdoms.
- Also unknown is whether chemicals that function as signals, rather than as nutrients, pass from the symbionts to the host organism.
- An association between mitochondria and intracellular symbionts has already been documented for other symbiotic bacteria that manipulate host reproduction.
Late 19th century: formed irregularly from Greek sumbiōn 'living together', present participle of sumbioun (see symbiosis).
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