Constrained proteome allocation affects coexistence in models of competitive microbial communities


This talk has been held during the online conference Paris Biological Physics Community Day 2020.

You can find here the slides I have shown during the talk.


Microbial communities are ubiquitous and play crucial roles in many natural processes. Despite their importance for the environment, industry and human health, there are still many aspects of microbial community dynamics that we do not understand quantitatively. Recent experiments have shown that the metabolism of species in a community is intertwined with its composition, suggesting that properties at the intracellular level such as the allocation of cellular proteomic resources must be taken into account when describing microbial communities with a population dynamics approach. Here we reconsider one of the theoretical frameworks most commonly used to model population dynamics in competitive ecosystems, MacArthur’s consumer-resource model, in light of experimental evidence showing how proteome allocation affects microbial growth. This new framework allows us to describe community dynamics at an intermediate level of complexity between classical consumer-resource models and biochemical models of microbial metabolism, accounting for temporally-varying proteome allocation subject to constraints on growth and protein synthesis in the presence of multiple resources, while preserving analytical insight into the dynamics of the system. We study our consumer-proteome-resource model analytically and numerically to determine the conditions that allow multiple species to coexist in systems with arbitrary numbers of species and resources.