A co-culture microplate for real-time measurement of microbial interactions [article]

Charles Jo, David B Bernstein, Natalie Vaisman, Horacio M Frydman, Daniel Segrè
2021 bioRxiv   pre-print
The dynamic structures of microbial communities emerge from the complex network of interactions between their constituent microbial organisms. Quantitative measurements of these microbial interactions are important for understanding and engineering microbial community structure. Here, we present the development and application of the BioMe plate, a redesigned microplate device in which pairs of wells are separated by porous membranes. BioMe facilitates the measurement of dynamic microbial
more » ... ctions and integrates easily with standard laboratory equipment. We first applied BioMe to recapitulate recently characterized, natural symbiotic interactions between bacteria isolated from the D. melanogaster gut microbiome. Specifically, the BioMe plate allowed us to observe the benefit provided by two Lactobacilli strains to an Acetobacter strain. We next explored the use of BioMe to gain quantitative insight into the engineered obligate syntrophic interaction between a pair of E. coli amino acid auxotrophs. We integrated experimental observations with a mechanistic computational model to quantify key parameters associated with this syntrophic interaction, including metabolite secretion and diffusion rates. This model also allowed us to explain the slow growth observed for auxotrophs growing in adjacent wells, by demonstrating that under the relevant range of parameters, local exchange between auxotrophs is essential for efficient growth. The BioMe plate provides a scalable and flexible approach for the study of dynamic microbial interactions.
doi:10.1101/2021.01.07.425753 fatcat:ykagsakllvcatmhf6hce53p7e4