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Plenary Lecture 11: Modelling the emergent dynamics of human colonic microbiota

Presented by: 
H Kettle Biomathematics & Statistics Scotland (BioSS)
Date: 
Thursday 11th September 2014 - 14:35 to 15:10
Venue: 
INI Seminar Room 1
Abstract: 
Co-authors: Petra Louis (University of Aberdeen), Grietje Holtrop (Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland), Sylvia Duncan (University of Aberdeen), Harry Flint (University of Aberdeen )

We present a method for modelling the complex dynamics of the colonic microbial ecosystem that incorporates both the variation in microbial composition between people and ecosystem adaptation. The model is a Monod-equation based, ordinary differential equation model which produces computer simulations of the dynamics of the microbial population and its major metabolites. To reduce the complexity of the system we divide the bacterial community into 10 bacterial functional groups (BFGs) each distinguished by its substrate preferences, metabolic pathways, and its preferred pH range. The model simulates the growth of a large number of bacterial strains with stochastically generated traits which compete for resources. The simulation results are compared with data from four experiments in pH-controlled, anaerobic continuous flow fermentor systems that investigated the effects of pH and peptide supply. We also theoretically investigate the idea that microbial strain diversity may be promoted by a pH feedback mechanism within the colon.
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Presentation Material: 
University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons