Metabolic and Demographic Feedbacks Shape the Emergent Spatial Structure and Function of Microbial Communities

Estrela, Sylvie; Brown, Sam P.
December 2013
PLoS Computational Biology;Dec2013, Vol. 9 Issue 12, p1
Academic Journal
Microbes are predominantly found in surface-attached and spatially structured polymicrobial communities. Within these communities, microbial cells excrete a wide range of metabolites, setting the stage for interspecific metabolic interactions. The links, however, between metabolic and ecological interactions (functional relationships), and species spatial organization (structural relationships) are still poorly understood. Here, we use an individual-based modelling framework to simulate the growth of a two-species surface-attached community where food (resource) is traded for detoxification (service) and investigate how metabolic constraints of individual species shape the emergent structural and functional relationships of the community. We show that strong metabolic interdependence drives the emergence of mutualism, robust interspecific mixing, and increased community productivity. Specifically, we observed a striking and highly stable emergent lineage branching pattern, generating a persistent lineage mixing that was absent when the metabolic exchange was removed. These emergent community properties are driven by demographic feedbacks, such that aid from neighbouring cells directly enhances focal cell growth, which in turn feeds back to neighbour fecundity. In contrast, weak metabolic interdependence drives conflict (exploitation or competition), and in turn greater interspecific segregation. Together, these results support the idea that species structural and functional relationships represent the net balance of metabolic interdependencies.


Related Articles

  • Effects of high and fluctuating pressure on microbial abundance and activity in a water hydraulic system. Soini, S. M.; Koskinen, K. T.; Vilenius, M. J.; Puhakka, J. A. // Applied Microbiology & Biotechnology;Apr2002, Vol. 58 Issue 5, p669 

    The effects of high and fluctuating pressure up to 220 bar on microbial growth and activity were determined in a pilot-scale water hydraulic system. An increase in the pipeline pressure from 70 to 220 bar decreased the total and the viable cell number in the pressure medium from...

  • Influence of Packaging Conditions on Natural Microbial Population Growth of Endive. Charles, Florence; Rugani, Nathalie; Gontardi, Nathalie // Journal of Food Protection;May2005, Vol. 68 Issue 5, p1020 

    The influence of three packaging conditions, i.e., unmodified atmosphere packaging (UAP), passive modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), and active MAP, on the natural microbial population growth of endive was investigated at 20°C. For UAE endive was placed in macroperforated oriented...

  • Soil Bacterial Response to Introduced Metal Stress. Anyanwu, C. U.; Nwankwo, S. C.; Moneke, A. N. // International Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences;Feb2011, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p109 

    The responses of aerobic heterotrophic soil bacteria community to different concentrations of different metals, namely, mercury, zinc and nickel were investigated. The heavy metals were added to soil at the levels of 50, 100, 200, 300 and 500 μg/g of soil, respectively. The soil samples were...

  • Emergent Biosynthetic Capacity in Simple Microbial Communities. Chiu, Hsuan-Chao; Levy, Roie; Borenstein, Elhanan // PLoS Computational Biology;Jul2014, Vol. 10 Issue 7, p1 

    Microbes have an astonishing capacity to transform their environments. Yet, the metabolic capacity of a single species is limited and the vast majority of microorganisms form complex communities and join forces to exhibit capabilities far exceeding those achieved by any single species. Such...

  • BIODEGRADATION OF PHENANTHRENE IN AN ANAEROBIC BATCH REACTOR: GROWTH KINETICS. Nasrollahzadeh, H. S.; G. D. Najafpour; M. Pazouki; H. Younesi; A. A. Zinatizadeh; M. Mohammadi // Chemical Industry & Chemical Engineering Quarterly;2010, Vol. 16 Issue 2, p157 

    The purpose of the present research was to demonstrate the ability of mixed consortia of microorganisms to degrade high concentrations of phenanthrene (PHE) as the sole carbon source. Batch experiments were carried out by the induction of mineral salt medium containing PHE to the seed culture...

  • Monitoring and characterisation of bacteria in corroding district heating systems using fluorescence in situ hybridisation and microautoradiography. Kjellerup, B.V.; Olesen, B.H.; Nielsen, J.L.; Frølund, B.; Ødum, S.; Nielsen, P.H. // Water Science & Technology;2003, Vol. 47 Issue 5, p117 

    Focuses on the presence of biofilm and biocorrosion in Danish district heating (DH) systems despite very good water quality that was expected to prevent significant microbial growth. Details of investigation with respect to the dominating bacterial groups on surfaces with corrosion problems;...

  • Response of bacteria to earthworm surface excreta. Oleynik, A. S.; Byzov, B. A. // Microbiology (00262617);Nov2008, Vol. 77 Issue 6, p765 

    Response of bacteria to the surface excreta of the Aporrectodea caliginosa earthworm was studied. The excreta were obtained by a 1 h incubation of the earthworms in petri dishes with subsequent collection of the slime. Both inhibition and stimulation of growth were revealed, as well as...

  • Assessment of physico- chemical properties and microbial community during composting of municipal solid waste (Viz. KItchen waste) at Jhansi City, U.P. (India). Pathak, A. K.; Singh, M. M.; Kumara, V.; Arya, S.; Trivedi, A. K. // Recent Research in Science & Technology;2012, Vol. 4 Issue 4, p10 

    Rapid industrialization and population explosion in India has led to the migration of people from villages to cities, which generate thousands of tons of Municipal Solid Waste (viz. Kitchen waste) MSW (Viz. KW) daily. Jhansi City is well known district of Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh...

  • The presence of nitrate dramatically changed the predominant microbial community in perchlorate degrading cultures under saline conditions. Stepanov, Victor G.; Yeyuan Xiao; Quyen Tran; Rojas, Mark; Willson, Richard C.; Fofanov, Yuriy; Fox, George E.; Roberts, Deborah J. // BMC Microbiology;2014, Vol. 14 Issue 1, p1 

    Background Perchlorate contamination has been detected in both ground water and drinking water. An attractive treatment option is the use of ion-exchange to remove and concentrate perchlorate in brine. Biological treatment can subsequently remove the perchlorate from the brine. When nitrate is...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics