Interactions between microbial community members
Rice, Scott A.
Date of Issue2017
School of Biological Sciences
Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences and Engineering
There is an increasing and encouraging trend towardsstudies of mixed species communities using laboratorymodel systems. Such studies are timely and will enable abetter understanding of how microorganisms interact witheach other and by extrapolation, should better describehow they function in the environment where other organ-isms are present. With the exception of specific symbioticrelationships such as the Hawiian bobtail squid(Euprymna scolopes)andVibrio fischeri(McFall-Ngai,2014; Norsworthy and Visick, 2013; Schwartzman andRuby, 2016), there are very few examples of microorgan-isms present as a mono-cultures in natural systems.Indeed, most habitats, such as soils and marine waters,are represented by high species richness and this diver-sity is intrinsically linked to ecosystem function and pro-ductivity (Heidelberget al., 2010; Llad oet al., 2017).Further, this diversity of organisms is central to food websin the environment, which is predicated on the combinedactivity of individual organisms contributing to carbon cap-ture and mineralization, as well as other various nutrientcycles. As one example,Nitrospira moscoviensiscanconvert urea into ammonia, which then becomes avail-able to ammonia oxidizers in the community (Kochet al.,2015). In return,N. moscoviensisreceives nitrite from theoxidation of ammonia, thus establishing a tight metabolicinteraction between these organisms.
Environmental Microbiology Reports
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