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  Self-generated oxygen gradients control collective aggregation of photosynthetic microbes

Fragkopoulos, A. A., Vachier, J., Frey, J., le Menn, F.-M., Mazza, M. G., Wilczek, M., et al. (2021). Self-generated oxygen gradients control collective aggregation of photosynthetic microbes. Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 18: 20210553. doi:10.1098/rsif.2021.0553.

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 Creators:
Fragkopoulos, Alexandros A.1, Author              
Vachier, Jérémy2, Author              
Frey, Johannes1, Author              
le Menn, Flora-Maud1, Author              
Mazza, Marco G.2, Author              
Wilczek, Michael3, Author              
Zwicker, David4, Author              
Bäumchen, Oliver1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Group Dynamics of fluid and biological interfaces, Department of Dynamics of Complex Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society, ou_2063300              
2Group Non-equilibrium soft matter, Department of Dynamics of Complex Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society, ou_2063308              
3Max Planck Research Group Theory of Turbulent Flows, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society, ou_2266693              
4Max Planck Research Group Theory of Biological Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society, ou_2516693              

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 Abstract: For billions of years, photosynthetic microbes have evolved under the variable exposure to sunlight in diverse ecosystems and microhabitats all over our planet. Their abilities to dynamically respond to alterations of the luminous intensity, including phototaxis, surface association and diurnal cell cycles, are pivotal for their survival. If these strategies fail in the absence of light, the microbes can still sustain essential metabolic functionalities and motility by switching their energy production from photosynthesis to oxygen respiration. For suspensions of motile C. reinhardtii cells above a critical density, we demonstrate that this switch reversibly controls collective microbial aggregation. Aerobic respiration dominates over photosynthesis in conditions of low light, which causes the microbial motility to sensitively depend on the local availability of oxygen. For dense microbial populations in self-generated oxygen gradients, microfluidic experiments and continuum theory based on a reaction– diffusion mechanism show that oxygen-regulated motility enables the collective emergence of highly localized regions of high and low cell densities.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2021-122021
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
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 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2021.0553
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Title: Journal of The Royal Society Interface
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: 9 Volume / Issue: 18 Sequence Number: 20210553 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1742-5662