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Plenary Lecture 3: Bacterial interactions in synthetic communities and in the wild

Date: 
Wednesday 26th November 2014 - 14:40 to 15:15
Venue: 
INI Seminar Room 1
Abstract: 
Predicting how bacterial community structure impacts ecosystem functioning requires quantifying how bacteria interact in natural environments. Our past research has used synthetic communities to characterise the ecology and evolution of bacterial interactions. Results indicate that: (i) interactions tend to be antagonistic, (ii) community complexity mollifies antagonisms and favours positive interactions, (iii) interactions evolve rapidly with repercussions for ecosystem functioning, and (iv) higher-order interactions are relatively unimportant. However, extrapolating these results to natural environments is challenging because of the complexity these communities. I will discuss one potential solution, which uses common garden experiments to quantify interactions in complex communities collected from nature.
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University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons