University of Cambridge > > Biological and Statistical Physics discussion group (BSDG) > Algal-bacterial interactions at a distance

Algal-bacterial interactions at a distance

Add to your list(s) Download to your calendar using vCal

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Salvatore Tesoro.

Microbial interactions are often predicated on metabolism: e.g. auxotrophs depend on nutrients made by other microbes. Many algae are vitamin auxotrophs, with several known species requiring exogenous vitamin B12 [1]. This vitamin must be obtained from bacteria, as only they can synthesise it. Laboratory experiments have demonstrated mutualistic interactions between bacteria and B12 -dependent algae. Populations of the bacterium Mesorhizobium loti (B12 producer, carbon requirer) and the green alga Lobomonas rostrata (B12 requirer, carbon producer) in co-culture stabilise to an algae/bacteria ratio of 1/30, independent of initial inoculum ratio [2].

Here we consider the interactions between microbial populations separated in space. Experiments on hard agarose indicate that mutualistic interactions exist at a distance. We present a mathematical model capturing the essence of these experiments: growing populations of algae and bacteria coupled by a diffusive channel. Solutions to the model reveal rich dynamics. We will discuss these and speculate on the ecological significance of our findings for understanding environmental biofilms and microbial mats.

[1] Croft, M. T. et al. Nature 483:90–93 (2005) [2] Kazamia, E. et al. Environ. Microbiol. 14, 1466 (2012)

This talk is part of the Biological and Statistical Physics discussion group (BSDG) series.

Tell a friend about this talk:

This talk is included in these lists:

Note that ex-directory lists are not shown.


© 2006-2017, University of Cambridge. Contact Us | Help and Documentation | Privacy and Publicity