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Title: Impact of spatial organization on a novel auxotrophic interaction among soil microbes

Here, a key prerequisite to achieve a deeper understanding of microbial communities and to engineer synthetic ones is to identify the individual metabolic interactions among key species and how these interactions are affected by different environmental factors. Deciphering the physiological basis of species–species and species–environment interactions in spatially organized environments requires reductionist approaches using ecologically and functionally relevant species. To this end, we focus here on a defined system to study the metabolic interactions in a spatial context among the plant-beneficial endophytic fungus Serendipita indica, and the soil-dwelling model bacterium Bacillus subtilis. Focusing on the growth dynamics of S. indica under defined conditions, we identified an auxotrophy in this organism for thiamine, which is a key co-factor for essential reactions in the central carbon metabolism. We found that S. indica growth is restored in thiamine-free media, when co-cultured with B. subtilis. The success of this auxotrophic interaction, however, was dependent on the spatial and temporal organization of the system; the beneficial impact of B. subtilis was only visible when its inoculation was separated from that of S. indica either in time or space. These findings describe a key auxotrophic interaction in the soil among organisms that are shown to bemore » important for plant ecosystem functioning, and point to the potential importance of spatial and temporal organization for the success of auxotrophic interactions. These points can be particularly important for engineering of minimal functional synthetic communities as plant seed treatments and for vertical farming under defined conditions.« less
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  1. The Univ. of Warwick, Coventry (United Kingdom)
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1751-7362
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
The ISME Journal
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 1751-7362
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; Biological Science; Auxotrophy; soil microbial communities; Serendipita indica; Bacillus subtilis; endophytic fungi; thiamine; vitamins; metabolic interaction; precision farming
OSTI Identifier: