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Self-generated oxygen gradients control collective aggregation of photosynthetic microbes

Title data

Fragkopoulos, Alexandros ; Vachier, Jérémy ; Frey, Johannes ; Le Menn, Flora-Maud ; Mazza, Marco G. ; Wilczek, Michael ; Zwicker, David ; Bäumchen, Oliver:
Self-generated oxygen gradients control collective aggregation of photosynthetic microbes.
In: Interface : Journal of the Royal Society. Vol. 18 (2021) Issue 185 . - No. 20210553.
ISSN 1742-5662
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2021.0553

Abstract in another language

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.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Institutions of the University: Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Mathematics, Physics und Computer Science
Faculties > Faculty of Mathematics, Physics und Computer Science > Department of Physics
Faculties > Faculty of Mathematics, Physics und Computer Science > Department of Physics > Chair Experimental Physics V
Faculties > Faculty of Mathematics, Physics und Computer Science > Department of Physics > Chair Experimental Physics V > Chair Experimental Physics V - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Oliver Bäumchen
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
500 Science > 530 Physics
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2021 09:05
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2022 10:47
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/68064