Costless metabolic secretions as drivers of interspecies interactions in microbial ecosystems
Pacheco, Alan R.
MetadataShow full item record
Citation (published version)Alan R Pacheco, Mauricio Moel, Daniel Segre. 2019. "Costless metabolic secretions as drivers of interspecies interactions in microbial ecosystems." NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, Volume 10, pp. ? - ? (12). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-07946-9
Metabolic exchange mediates interactions among microbes, helping explain diversity in microbial communities. As these interactions often involve a fitness cost, it is unclear how stable cooperation can emerge. Here we use genome-scale metabolic models to investigate whether the release of “costless” metabolites (i.e. those that cause no fitness cost to the producer), can be a prominent driver of intermicrobial interactions. By performing over 2 million pairwise growth simulations of 24 species in a combinatorial assortment of environments, we identify a large space of metabolites that can be secreted without cost, thus generating ample cross-feeding opportunities. In addition to providing an atlas of putative interactions, we show that anoxic conditions can promote mutualisms by providing more opportunities for exchange of costless metabolites, resulting in an overrepresentation of stable ecological network motifs. These results may help identify interaction patterns in natural communities and inform the design of synthetic microbial consortia.
RightsAttribution 4.0 International