Public good diffusion limits microbial mutualism [article]

Rajita Menon, Kirill S. Korolev
2014 bioRxiv   pre-print
Standard game theory cannot describe microbial interactions mediated by diffusible molecules. Nevertheless, we show that one can still model microbial dynamics using game theory with parameters renormalized by diffusion. Contrary to expectations, greater sharing of metabolites reduces the strength of cooperation and leads to species extinction via a nonequilibrium phase transition. We report analytic results for the critical diffusivity and the length scale of species intermixing. We also show
more » ... hat fitness nonlinearities suppress mutualism and favor the species producing slower nutrients.
doi:10.1101/013144 fatcat:ryqowllnzvexlgqn2ffcgojsxu