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Stochastic colonization of hosts with a finite lifespan can drive individual host microbes out of equilibrium

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Zapién-Campos,  Román
Department Evolutionary Theory, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;
IMPRS for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Sieber,  Michael
Department Evolutionary Theory, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Traulsen,  Arne
Department Evolutionary Theory, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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journal.pcbi.1008392.pdf
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Citation

Zapién-Campos, R., Sieber, M., & Traulsen, A. (2020). Stochastic colonization of hosts with a finite lifespan can drive individual host microbes out of equilibrium. PLoS Computational Biology, 16(11): e1008392. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1008392.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-6E38-0
Abstract
Author summary Microbial communities are prevalent not only in the environment but also in hosts. Although the drivers of environmental microbiomes have been studied extensively, less is known about the drivers distinguishing a host environment. Recent experimental observations have highlighted the influence of ecological drift in hosts with short lifespan, including model organisms like C. elegans, D. melanogaster and D. rerio. We have developed a theoretical model to study the effect of a finite host lifespan on relevant observables of the microbiome, including the microbial load, probability of colonization of a microbial taxon, and distribution of microbiome composition in a host population. Although we focus on a case free of any selection, our results indicate the possible coexistence of hosts with alternative microbiome composition, and to a larger extent the coexistence of colonized and microbe-free hosts. A quantitative description is provided.