Deciphering the Ecology and Evolution of Microbial Social Behaviors in Turbulent Environments: A case study on cooperation

Science / Life Sciences

Microbial populations can exhibit collective behavior to enhance the efficiency of certain tasks. However, such behaviors are susceptible to exploitation by non-participating invaders who reap the benefits. The mechanisms by which natural populations circumvent these invasions is a pivotal question in evolutionary biology. Microbial habitats can exhibit a variety of flows that disperse cells and/or their secretions in diverse ways, ranging from orderly flows enabling smooth transport to the chaotic mixing typical of turbulence. Each of these can impact the evolution of sociality in intricate and yet unknown ways. Despite this, the interplay between microbial ecology, the evolution of sociality, and the physical properties of a flow remains largely unexplored. This project aims to decipher these connections, with a particular focus on the role of turbulence in the ecology and evolution of sociality within microbial communities exhibiting different movement patterns.

Amount invested

R$ 100,000.00