Parasite and Mutualistic relationships

November 21, 1998
From: Tammy Pearson

I am in my fourth year of university and i am searching for an interesting topic for a research paper. The topic is about mutualistic and parasitic relationship between three different kingdoms. ie a animal, plant and say a fungi. What I am having trouble with is finding information on interesting organisms that show these relationships. So essentially any ideas would be great.

Tammy Pearson
Alberta, Canada

Pearson, T., 1998 (Nov 21) Parasite and Mutualistic relationships. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

dear Tammy,
Perhaps someone will have a brilliant idea. An animal eating a lichen (algae + fungus) would probably fit the specifications but so would a human, dressed in cotton clothes who liked eating mushrooms!

Most animals have a huge skin and gut fauna of protozoa and bacteria. In reality I would think every animal would fit your description.

Concerning the opisthobranch examples described in the Forum. I don't think they fit your specifications, although there are interesting thoughts that plant plastids are in fact obligate parasite or commensal protozoa in plants.

Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 1998 (Nov 21). Comment on Parasite and Mutualistic relationships by Tammy Pearson. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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