Modeling metabolic networks of individual bacterial agents in heterogeneous and dynamic soil habitats (IndiMeSH)
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Natural soil is characterized as a complex habitat with patchy hydrated islands and spatially variable nutrients that is in a constant state of change due to wetting-drying dynamics. Soil microbial activity is often concentrated in sparsely distributed hotspots that contribute disproportionally to macroscopic biogeochemical nutrient cycling and greenhouse gas emissions. The mechanistic representation of such dynamic hotspots requires new modeling approaches capable of representing the interplay between dynamic local conditions and the versatile microbial metabolic adaptations. We have developed IndiMeSH (Individual-based Metabolic network model for Soil Habitats) as a spatially explicit model for the physical and chemical microenvironments of soil, combined with an individual-based representation of bacterial motility and growth using adaptive metabolic networks. The model uses angular pore networks and a physically based description of the aqueous phase as a backbone for nutrient diffusion and bacterial dispersal combined with dynamic flux balance analysis to calculate growth rates depending on local nutrient conditions. To maximize computational efficiency, reduced scale metabolic networks are used for the simulation scenarios and evaluated strategically to the genome scale model. IndiMeSH was compared to a well-established population-based spatiotemporal metabolic network model (COMETS) and to experimental data of bacterial spatial organization in pore networks mimicking soil aggregates. IndiMeSH was then used to strategically study dynamic response of a bacterial community to abrupt environmental perturbations and the influence of habitat geometry and hydration conditions. Results illustrate that IndiMeSH is capable of representing trophic interactions among bacterial species, predicting the spatial organization and segregation of bacterial populations due to oxygen and carbon gradients, and provides insights into dynamic community responses as a consequence of environmental changes. The modular design of IndiMeSH and its implementation are adaptable, allowing it to represent a wide variety of experimental and in silico microbial systems. Show more
Journal / seriesPLoS Computational Biology
Pages / Article No.
Organisational unit03812 - Or, Dani / Or, Dani
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