Study of the evolution of symbiosis at the metabolic level using models from game theory and economics

Martin Wannagat 1, 2
Abstract : Symbiosis, a term that brings all types of species interaction under one banner, is defined as a close association of different species living together. Species interactions that comprise microorganisms are of particular interest for agriculture, health, and environmental issues. All kinds of species interactions such as mutualism, commensalism, and competition, are omnipresent in nature and occur often at the metabolic level. Organisms release metabolites to the environment which are then taken up by other individuals of the same or of different species. In this thesis, we study how species interactions shape the environment. We examine the questions of (i) what are the minimal nutrient requirements to sustain growth, and (ii) which metabolites can be exchanged between an organism and its environment. Enumerating all minimal stoichiometric precursor sets, and all minimal sets of exchanged metabolites, using metabolic network models, provide a better insight into species interactions. In a spatially homogeneous environment, the metabolites that are released to such an environment are shared by all individuals. The problem that then arises is how cheaters, individuals that profit from the released metabolites without contributing to the public good, can be prevented from the population. This and other configurations were already modeled with approaches from game theory and economics. We examine how the concepts of minimal stoichiometric precursor sets and minimal sets of exchanged compounds can be introduced into such models
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Martin Wannagat. Study of the evolution of symbiosis at the metabolic level using models from game theory and economics. Quantitative Methods [q-bio.QM]. Université de Lyon, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016LYSE1094⟩. ⟨tel-01394107v2⟩

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