Predicting stability of mixed microbial cultures from single species experiments: 2. Physiological model. Academic Article uri icon


  • In this paper, we study the equilibria of a physiological model describing the continuous culture in which two microbial populations compete for two substitutable resources. This work is an extension of the stability analysis of the phenomenological model of mixed microbial growth [M.M. Ballyk, G.S.K. Wolkowicz, Exploitative competition in the chemostat for two perfectly substitutable resources, Math. Biosci. 118 (1993) 127-180; S.S. Pilyugin, G.T. Reeves, A. Narang, Predicting stability of mixed microbial cultures from single species experiments: 2. Phenomenological model]. Here, we investigate the influence of the peripheral enzymes that catabolize the substrate uptake on the stability of the mixed culture. We show that, under steady state conditions, an increase in the concentration of one substrate inhibits the uptake of the other substrate(s). We present the criteria for existence, uniqueness, and stability of various types of equilibria. We formulate these criteria in terms of growth isoclines and consumption curves for each of the competing species. Since both types of curves can be obtained from a single species experiment, our approach provides a direct connection between theory and experiment and allows one to infer the dynamics of mixed cultures from the dynamics of single species cultures. By expressing the stability criteria in terms of intracellular properties, the model establishes a link between ecology and molecular biology.

published proceedings

  • Math Biosci

author list (cited authors)

  • Pilyugin, S. S., Reeves, G. T., & Narang, A

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Pilyugin, Sergei S||Reeves, Gregory T||Narang, Atul

publication date

  • December 2004