Constrained proteome allocation affects coexistence in models of competitive microbial communities


This talk was part of the session M05: Ecological and Evolutionary Dynamics III during the APS March meeting 2022.

You can find here the slides I’ve shown during the talk.


Microbial communities are ubiquitous and play crucial roles in many natural processes, but despite their importance there are many of their aspects that we still don’t fully understand. There is a growing amount of evidence that the structure and composition of microbial communities are intertwined with the metabolism of the species that inhabit them, 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. In this talk, 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. In particular, we study this consumer-proteome-resource model analytically and numerically to determine the conditions that allow the coexistence of multiple species.