The paper shows that the phenomenological trends of both growth and decay of a microbial population in a given medium are easily reproducible with simple equations that allow gathering the experimental data (plate counts) related to different microbial species, in different mediums and even at different temperatures, in a single master plot. The guideline of the proposed approach is that microbes and surrounding medium form a system where they affect each other and that the so-called "growth curve" is just the phenomenological appearance of such interaction. The whole system (cells and medium) changes following a definite pathway described as the evolution of a "virtual" microbial population in planktonic conditions. The proposed equations come from the assumption of a duplication mechanism with a variable generation time for the growth and of an exponential-like decline with a linear increase of the rate for the decay. The intermediate phase between growth and decay is a time span during which growth and death counterbalance each other and age differences within the virtual cell population tend to level off. The proposed approach does not provide an a priori description of this phase but allows the fit of the whole evolution trend of a microbial culture whenever the experimental data are available. Deviations of such a trend concern microbes able to form spores, modify their metabolism, or express phenotypic heterogeneity, to counterbalance adverse medium conditions.

Growth and Decay of a Planktonic Microbial Culture / A. Schiraldi. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MICROBIOLOGY. - ISSN 1687-918X. - 2020(2020 Jan 24), pp. 4186468.1-4186468.8. [10.1155/2020/4186468]

Growth and Decay of a Planktonic Microbial Culture

A. Schiraldi
Primo
2020

Abstract

The paper shows that the phenomenological trends of both growth and decay of a microbial population in a given medium are easily reproducible with simple equations that allow gathering the experimental data (plate counts) related to different microbial species, in different mediums and even at different temperatures, in a single master plot. The guideline of the proposed approach is that microbes and surrounding medium form a system where they affect each other and that the so-called "growth curve" is just the phenomenological appearance of such interaction. The whole system (cells and medium) changes following a definite pathway described as the evolution of a "virtual" microbial population in planktonic conditions. The proposed equations come from the assumption of a duplication mechanism with a variable generation time for the growth and of an exponential-like decline with a linear increase of the rate for the decay. The intermediate phase between growth and decay is a time span during which growth and death counterbalance each other and age differences within the virtual cell population tend to level off. The proposed approach does not provide an a priori description of this phase but allows the fit of the whole evolution trend of a microbial culture whenever the experimental data are available. Deviations of such a trend concern microbes able to form spores, modify their metabolism, or express phenotypic heterogeneity, to counterbalance adverse medium conditions.
Settore CHIM/02 - Chimica Fisica
Settore BIO/19 - Microbiologia Generale
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/882554
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