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Title:Spatial dynamics of microbial populations driven by social interactions and horizontal gene transfer
Author(s):Li, Tianyi
Advisor(s):Lu, Ting
Department / Program:Bioengineering
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Spatial Dynamics, Synthetic Ecosystems.
Abstract:The functions of the microbial ecosystems are closely related to the spatial structures formed by microbial communities. Yet, it is not well understood what determines, controls and regulates the spatial dynamics of microbial populations. In this study, we use synthetic microbial consortia as our experimental models, to explore the factors contributing to the microbial populations’ spatial dynamics, owing to their great controllability and reduced system complexity compared to native existing ecosystems. Upon a systematic investigation on the relationship between the microbial spatial structures and factors influencing their spatial dynamics, we found that interaction topologies and horizontal gene transfers drive the spatial structure formations of bacterial communities. Spatial interaction scales, growth rates and antibiotic selection forces are other modulators that affect the spatial structures. Our results confirm social interactions and horizontal gene transfers as two key determinants of the microbial spatial dynamics, providing insights into microbial spatial organization and synthetic ecosystem engineering.
Issue Date:2019-04-23
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 Tianyi Li
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-08-23
Date Deposited:2019-05

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