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The origin of altruism is a fundamental problem in evolution, and the maintenance of biodiversity is a fundamental problem in ecology. These two problems combine with the fundamental microbiological question of whether it is always advantageous for a unicellular organism to grow as fast as possible. The common basis for these three themes is a trade-off(More)
In this paper we describe a spatially multidimensional (two-dimensional [2-D] and three-dimensional [3-D]) particle-based approach for modeling the dynamics of multispecies biofilms growing on multiple substrates. The model is based on diffusion-reaction mass balances for chemical species coupled with microbial growth and spreading of biomass represented by(More)
Progress in microbiology has always been driven by technological advances, ever since Antonie van Leeuwenhoek discovered bacteria by making an improved compound microscope. However, until very recently we have not been able to identify microbes and record their mostly invisible activities, such as nutrient consumption or toxin production on the level of the(More)
Quorum sensing faces evolutionary problems from non-producing or over-producing cheaters. Such problems are circumvented in diffusion sensing, an alternative explanation for quorum sensing. However, both explanations face the problems of signalling in complex environments such as the rhizosphere where, for example, the spatial distribution of cells can be(More)
Evolutionary game theory can be considered as an extension of the theory of evolutionary optimisation in that two or more organisms (or more generally, units of replication) tend to optimise their properties in an interdependent way. Thus, the outcome of the strategy adopted by one species (e.g., as a result of mutation and selection) depends on the(More)
Voronoi tessellations have been used to model the geometric arrangement of cells in morphogenetic or cancerous tissues, however, so far only with flat hyper-surfaces as cell-cell contact borders. In order to reproduce the experimentally observed piecewise spherical boundary shapes, we develop a consistent theoretical framework of multiplicatively weighted(More)
How aging, being unfavourable for the individual, can evolve is one of the fundamental problems of biology. Evidence for aging in unicellular organisms is far from conclusive. Some studies found aging even in symmetrically dividing unicellular species; others did not find aging in the same, or in different, unicellular species, or only under stress.(More)
Groundwater is like dark matter--we know very little apart from the fact that it is hugely important. Given the scarcity of data, mathematical modelling can come to the rescue but existing groundwater models are mainly restricted to simulate the transport and degradation of contaminants on the scale of whole contaminated field sites by averaging out the(More)
The importance of microbial communities (MCs) cannot be overstated. MCs underpin the biogeochemical cycles of the earth's soil, oceans and the atmosphere, and perform ecosystem functions that impact plants, animals and humans. Yet our ability to predict and manage the function of these highly complex, dynamically changing communities is limited. Building(More)