Information

Dear user, the application need JavaScript support. Please enable JavaScript in your browser.

You are browsing as a GUEST
Title of the item:

Local interactions and self-organized spatial patterns stabilize microbial cross-feeding against cheaters

Title :
Local interactions and self-organized spatial patterns stabilize microbial cross-feeding against cheaters
Authors :
Stump, Simon Maccracken
Johnson, Evan Curtis
Klausmeier, Christopher A.
Show more
Source :
Journal of The Royal Society Interface; 2018, Vol. 15 Issue: 140 p20170822-20170822, 1p
Periodical
Mutualisms are ubiquitous, but models predict they should be susceptible to cheating. Resolving this paradox has become relevant to synthetic ecology: cooperative cross-feeding, a nutrient-exchange mutualism, has been proposed to stabilize microbial consortia. Previous attempts to understand how cross-feeders remain robust to non-producing cheaters have relied on complex behaviour (e.g. cheater punishment) or group selection. Using a stochastic spatial model, we demonstrate two novel mechanisms that can allow cross-feeders to outcompete cheaters, rather than just escape from them. Both mechanisms work through the spatial segregation of the resources, which prevents individual cheaters from acquiring the resources they need to reproduce. First, if microbe dispersal is low but resources are shared widely, then the cross-feeders self-organize into stable spatial patterns. Here the cross-feeders can build up where the resource they need is abundant, and send their resource to where their partner is, separating resources at regular intervals in space. Second, if dispersal is high but resource sharing is local, then random variation in population density creates small-scale variation in resource density, separating the resources from each other by chance. These results suggest that cross-feeding may be more robust than previously expected and offer strategies to engineer stable consortia.

We use cookies to help identify your computer so we can tailor your user experience, track shopping basket contents and remember where you are in the order process.