I was thinking about humans and machines being symbiotic "species".

So I wonder if there exists in biology a species that could not reproduce without its symbiont.


closed as off-topic by David, kmm, James, Satwik Pasani, AliceD Jul 5 '17 at 21:47

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    $\begingroup$ I don't know why you are bringing up humans and machines but this is a pretty trivial question: yes of course, there are tons of examples. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Jun 29 '17 at 4:44
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    $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause While I agree the human/machine bit is superfluous to the question (though it gives background in what the questioner was thinking), if you have "tons of examples", you can (and should) pick some illustrative ones and write up an answer, rather than snarking about its triviality. $\endgroup$ – R.M. Jun 29 '17 at 12:30
  • $\begingroup$ @R.M. I meant merely to explain the reason for my downvote, because, as the alt-text for the downvote button notes: "This question does not show any research effort." Poor effort questions should not be answered. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Jun 30 '17 at 20:46

To the exception of many Monocercomonoides (thanks @canadianer for pointing the exception), all eukaryote (incl. animals, plants, fungi and others but excl. bacteria) all have one or more types of endosymbionte (e.g. mitochondria) and cannot function without it. So yes, any eukaryote is an example.

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    $\begingroup$ The question of whether at this point mitochondria/chloroplasts/etc. count as separate organisms (and full symbionts) or rather they just originated as an endosymiont but are now just a part of the cell (and thus not technically a symbiont anymore) is one of perspective and thus whether it "counts" is a little fuzzy. $\endgroup$ – R.M. Jun 29 '17 at 12:37
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    $\begingroup$ Tell this to Monocercomonoides. $\endgroup$ – canadianer Jun 30 '17 at 20:13

Any obligate parasite would be an example.

An obligate parasite or holoparasite, is a parasitic organism that cannot complete its life-cycle without exploiting a suitable host. If an obligate parasite cannot obtain a host it will fail to reproduce.

How about Leishmania?


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