Initial evenness determines diversity and cell density dynamics in synthetic microbial ecosystems.
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Pieper, Dietmar Helmut
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AbstractThe effect of initial evenness on the temporal trajectory of synthetic communities in comprehensive, low-volume microcosm studies remains unknown. We used flow cytometric fingerprinting and 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing to assess the impact of time on community structure in one hundred synthetic ecosystems of fixed richness but varying initial evenness. Both methodologies uncovered a similar reduction in diversity within synthetic communities of medium and high initial evenness classes. However, the results of amplicon sequencing showed that there were no significant differences between and within the communities in all evenness groups at the end of the experiment. Nevertheless, initial evenness significantly impacted the cell density of the community after five medium transfers. Highly even communities retained the highest cell densities at the end of the experiment. The relative abundances of individual species could be associated to particular evenness groups, suggesting that their presence was dependent on the initial evenness of the synthetic community. Our results reveal that using synthetic communities for testing ecological hypotheses requires prior assessment of initial evenness, as it impacts temporal dynamics.
CitationInitial evenness determines diversity and cell density dynamics in synthetic microbial ecosystems. 2018, 8 (1):340 Sci Rep
AffiliationHelmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany.
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