Community and single cell analyses reveal complex predatory interactions between bacteria in high diversity systems

Yossi Cohen, Zohar Pasternak, Susann Müller, Thomas Hübschmann, Florian Schattenberg, Kunjukrishnan Kamalakshi Sivakala, Alfred Abed-Rabbo, Antonis Chatzinotas, Edouard Jurkevitch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

A fundamental question in community ecology is the role of predator–prey interactions in food-web stability and species coexistence. Although microbial microcosms offer powerful systems to investigate it, interrogating the environment is much more arduous. Here, we show in a 1-year survey that the obligate predators Bdellovibrio and like organisms (BALOs) can regulate prey populations, possibly in a density-dependent manner, in the naturally complex, species-rich environments of wastewater treatment plants. Abundant as well as rarer prey populations are affected, leading to an oscillating predatory landscape shifting at various temporal scales in which the total population remains stable. Shifts, along with differential prey range, explain co-existence of the numerous predators through niche partitioning. We validate these sequence-based findings using single-cell sorting combined with fluorescent hybridization and community sequencing. Our approach should be applicable for deciphering community interactions in other systems.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number5481
JournalNature Communications
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

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