Multiple micro-predators controlling bacterial communities in the environment

Johnke Julia, Cohen Yossef, de Leeuw Marina, Kushmaro Ariel, Jurkevitch Edouard*, Chatzinotas Antonis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations

Abstract

Predator-prey interactions are a main issue in ecological theory, including multispecies predator-prey relationships and intraguild predation. This knowledge is mainly based on the study of plants and animals, while its relevance for microorganisms is not well understood. The three key groups of micro-predators include protists, predatory bacteria and bacteriophages. They greatly differ in size, in prey specificity, in hunting strategies and in the resulting population dynamics. Yet, their potential to jointly control bacterial populations and reducing biomass in complex environments such as wastewater treatment plants is vast. Here, we present relevant ecological concepts and recent findings on micropredators, and propose that an integrative approach to predation at the microscale should be developed enabling the exploitation of this potential.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)185-190
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Biotechnology
Volume27
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by the German Research Foundation grant CH 731/2-1 .

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