Elucidation of environmental dynamics of populations

How reproducibly microbial populations are associated with the same type of micro-environmental features in the wild remains poorly understood but is crucial for structure-function linkage.  Using our vibrio model, we showed that populations display reproducible environmental dynamics and characteristic distributions. We identified associations with different types of organic particles and organisms, and different ecological strategies from highly specialized to generalist. Our repeated sampling of the same microenvironments also demonstrated that associations are predictable at the population level but that genotypic diversity within populations is high, most conspicuously manifest as high gene content diversity. Importantly, these observations have allowed us to interpret gene types and frequencies within and between populations in terms of environmental selection.


Selected references:

Thompson, J.R., Pacocha, S., Pharino, C., Klepac-Ceraj, V., Hunt, D.E., Benoit, J., Sarma-Rupavtarm, R., Distel, D.L., Polz, M.F. (2005) Genotypic diversity within a natural coastal bacterioplankton community. Science. 307:1311-1313.

Preheim, S.P., Boucher, Y., Wildschutte, H., David, L.A., Veneziano, D., Alm, E.J., Polz, M.F. (2011) Metapopulation structure of Vibrionaceae among coastal marine invertebrates. Environ. Microbiol. 13(1):265-275.

Szabo, G., Preheim, S.P., Kauffman, K.M., David, L.A., Shaprio, J., Alm, E.J., Polz, M.F. (2013) Reproducibility of Vibrionaceae population structure in coastal bacterioplankton. ISME J. 7(3):509-519.

Yu, X., Polz, M.F., Alm, E.J. (2019) Interactions in self assembled communities saturate with diversity. ISME J. 13(6):1602-1617.