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Mutualism at a distance paper published

last modified Mar 18, 2018 09:45 AM

Soil microbes, such microalgae, bacteria and fungi, are able to feed each other essential nutrients. Mutualistic relationships arise when one microbe needs a nutrient that another can provide, and viceversa. Using a mathematical model we predict the survival of mutualistic microbial populations  growing in chambers  separated in space, but connected by a channel carrying the essential nutrient made by the partner.

Our work, published in the APS journal Physical Review E, is relevant to understanding microbial communities in the soil, which can be described as a network of connected chambers. Understanding such soil microbial communities is very important for the development of new sustainable agritechnologies. It is also important for bioremediation, the use of microbes to clean polluted land.

You can find our paper here:
https://journals.aps.org/pre/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevE.97.022411