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Microbes Environ. 2010;25(4):317-20.

Determinative factors of competitive advantage between aerobic bacteria for niches at the air-liquid interface.

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Department of Biotechnology, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Yayoi1–1–1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113–8657, Japan.


We focused on bacterial interspecies relationships at the air-liquid interface where the formation of pellicles by aerobes was observed. Although an obligate aerobe (Brevibacillus sp. M1-5) was initially dominant in the pellicle population, a facultative aerobe (Pseudoxanthomonas sp. M1-3) emerged and the viability of M1-5 rapidly decreased due to severe competition for oxygen. Supplementation of the medium with carbohydrates allowed the two species to coexist at the air-liquid interface. These results indicate that the population dynamics within pellicles are primarily governed by oxygen utilization which was affected by a combination of carbon sources.

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