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Taking a bottom-up approach: using metabolic models to study how interactions shape natural-occurring microbial communities

Tuesday 4th November 2014 - 10:05 to 10:20
INI Seminar Room 1
Co-authors: Rafi Zareki (Tel Aviv University), Omer Eilam (Tel Aviv University), Eytan Ruppin (Tel Aviv University)

Revealing the ecological principles that shape communities is a major challenge of the post-genomic era. To date, a systematic approach for describing inter-species interactions has been lacking. Using CBM, we independently predict the competitive and cooperative potential between 6,903 bacterial pairs derived from a collection of 118 species ’ metabolic models and chart an intricate association between competition and cooperation. Utilizing ecological data from 2,801 samples, we explore the associations between bacterial interactions and coexistence patterns. The high level of competition observed between species with mutual-exclusive distribution patterns supports the role of competition in community assembly. Cooperative interactions are typically unidirectional with no obvious benefit to the giver. However, within their natural communities, bacteria typically form close cooperative loops resulting in indirect benefit to all species involved.

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University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons