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SysBioM Lecture Series – Erik Wright

Event Details

When: November 4, 2015, 2:00 PM

Location: 3rd Floor Orchard View Room , Discovery Building

Contact: 608-316-4401, hstampfli@wisc.edu

Erik Wright

Erik Wright

Survival of the common in communities of antibiotic producers

Knowledge of the patterns of ecological interactions and their frequency dependence within and between species is central to understanding ecological and evolutionary dynamics in communities. At the same time, the type and pattern of microbial interactions that exist in natural communities are poorly understood, which is limiting our comprehension of ecological systems and our ability to engineer microbial consortia. Here we determined the network of invasions and inhibitions among a panel of 18 naturally antibiotic producing bacteria. In addition to survival of the fittest, we observed many cases of survival of the common – where the most abundant strain is the winner. Surprisingly, we observed few cases of cycles of dominance, and no instances of the well-studied rock-paper-scissors loop. The invasion network was shaped by inhibitory interactions betweenstrains, which also promoted survival of the common. The finding of frequent bistability in ecological networks has implications for the distribution of species, the discreteness of asexual organisms, and the sensitivity of final community state to the order of species arrival.

All SysBioM (Systems Biology in Madison) sponsored talks take place on Tuesdays at 2:30 p.m. in the 3rd floor Orchard View room of the Discovery Building. Talks are open to the public. Access to the room is via the elevator behind Aldo’s Cafe in the Northeast corner of the building.