Which games are growing bacterial populations playing?.

Li, Xiang-Yi, Pietschke, Cleo, Fraune, Sebastian, Altrock, Philipp M., Bosch, Thomas and Traulsen, Arne (2015) Which games are growing bacterial populations playing?. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 12 (108).

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Abstract

Microbial communities display complex population dynamics, both in frequency and absolute density. Evolutionary game theory provides a natural approach to analyse and model this complexity by studying the detailed interactions among players, including competition and conflict, cooperation and coexistence. Classic evolutionary game theory models typically assume constant population size, which often does not hold for microbial populations. Here, we explicitly take into account population growth with frequency-dependent growth parameters, as observed in our experimental system. We study the in vitro population dynamics of the two commensal bacteria (Curvibacter sp. (AEP1.3) and Duganella sp. (C1.2)) that synergistically protect the metazoan host Hydra vulgaris (AEP) from fungal infection. The frequency-dependent, nonlinear growth rates observed in our experiments indicate that the interactions among bacteria in co-culture are beyond the simple case of direct competition or, equivalently, pairwise games. This is in agreement, with the synergistic effect of anti-fungal activity observed in vivo. Our analysis provides new insight into the minimal degree of complexity needed to appropriately understand and predict coexistence or extinction events in this kind of microbial community dynamics. Our approach extends the understanding of microbial communities and points to novel experiments.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: Times Cited: 0
Research affiliation: Kiel University
Kiel University > Kiel Marine Science
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1742-5689
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2016 03:45
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2018 12:53
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/32570

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