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Research GELIFES

GELIFES Seminars - Karoline Faust

When:Th 08-04-2021 13:00 - 14:00

Karoline Faust (KU Leuven)

Exploring the dynamics of a synthetic human gut community

Due to its complexity and the impact of the human host, it is hard to obtain a mechanistic understanding of the gut microbial community from sequencing data alone. Synthetic communities are an excellent tool to complement in vivo studies. Their dynamics can be accurately monitored while exerting a degree of control that is impossible to achieve in vivo. Here, I will present an in vitro study of a synthetic microbial community consisting of three human gut bacterial strains. We monitored each community member growing in isolation and in co-culture and developed a kinetic model to describe their dynamics. The experiments validate cross-feeding interactions and highlight the special role of Blautia hydrogenotrophica as an interaction partner. When parameterized on mono- and bi-culture data, our model describes well the observed community dynamics, but fails to predict community dynamics from mono-cultures alone. RNA-seq applied to mono- and tri-culture samples confirmed a change in behavior. In conclusion, we showed that gut bacteria respond to their interaction partners, giving rise to emergent behavior.

The Faust lab
The main interest of the lab is to explore microbial community structure and dynamics in silico and in vitro. We therefore work at the boundary of microbial ecology, systems biology and bioinformatics.

Link to seminar