A microbiota is an “ecological community of commensal, symbiotic and pathogenic microorganisms” found in and on all multicellular organisms studied to date from plants to animals. A microbiota includes bacteria, archaea, protists, fungi and viruses. Microbiota have been found to be crucial for immunologic, hormonal and metabolic homeostasis of their host. The synonymous term microbiome describes either the collective genomes of the microorganisms that reside in an environmental niche or the microorganisms themselves.
The microbiome and host emerged during evolution as a synergistic unit from epigenetics and genomic characteristics, sometimes collectively referred to as a holobiont.
The beneficial microorganisms are involved in human health and well being.