The team aims to understand system-level temporal dynamics of microbial interactions in a synthetic bacterial community. The overarching goal is to understand how the interactions among members of microbial communities determine the emergent properties of the system. Do multi-member microbial communities perform differently, given different membership compositions, then expected by the summation of individual member performances? If so, how do precise interaction types (synergism, antagonism) contribute to a microbial community’s emergent functions? The team expects that the proposed research will provide insights into these fundamental questions in microbial ecology, with relevance for key areas of the DOE’s mission (carbon cycling, biogeochemistry) that are driven by environmental microbial communities. Ultimately, this work will inform ecological understanding of how microbial interactions facilitate microbial community stability in response to environmental stressors.
Proposer: Ashley Shade, Michigan State University