The Federation of European Microbiological Societies is governed by a Council of Member Society Representatives (Delegates) and a Board of Directors. The FEMS Team runs its operations from Delft, The Netherlands. The FEMS Council meets annually with participants consisting of Delegates from all Member Societies, alongside officers of the Board of Directors. The Council Meetings and the 43rd Annual General Meeting were held in Lisbon, Portugal on 8-9 September 2017.
In the history of life, the most transformative symbiosis was the ‘primary endosymbiosis,’ wherein a cyanobacterium was engulfed by a eukaryote and became genetically integrated as a heritable photosynthetic organelle, or plastid. Since we cannot travel back in time to witness these evolutionary junctures, Gregory S Gavelis and Gillian H Gile draw on examples of unicellular eukaryotes (protists) spanning diverse modes of photosymbiosis. They also review experimental approaches that could be used to recreate aspects of early primary endosymbiosis on a human timescale.