Dictionary > Syntrophy


A biological circumstances of two different species of microorganisms that are mutually dependent with each other for growth and existence.
A condition of two bacterial strains which able to grow together and support each other for food and resources. The term for nutritional interdependence is frequently used in microbiology to portray this symbiotic relationship among some bacterial group.
Syntrophy is an important intermediary mechanism in anaerobic alteration of organic matters to methane where metabolically different microorganisms are closely associated by the need to sustain the barter of metabolites at very low concentrations.
The best example of syntrophy is the microbial metabolism of the oxidation of fermentative products by Syntrophomonas. Another example are those organisms that feast on dung and cow’s that consume a lot of grass and those cellulose of which is altered into lipids by microorganisms inside the cow’s large intestine. Also the house dust mites which live off human skin flakes. At about 1 gram a day for a healthy human to shed skin flakes and these mites can generate chemicals that excite the production of flakes.
Word Origin: syn= “together” + trophe= “nourishment
See also:
• dynamic energy budget
Related terms:
• syntrophic (adjective)

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