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Processes 2017, 5(4), 53; doi:10.3390/pr5040053

Modeling Microbial Communities: A Call for Collaboration between Experimentalists and Theorists

Department of Biology, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, USA
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Received: 27 June 2017 / Revised: 4 September 2017 / Accepted: 16 September 2017 / Published: 25 September 2017
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Abstract

With our growing understanding of the impact of microbial communities, understanding how such communities function has become a priority. The influence of microbial communities is widespread. Human-associated microbiota impacts health, environmental microbes determine ecosystem sustainability, and microbe-driven industrial processes are expanding. This broad range of applications has led to a wide range of approaches to analyze and describe microbial communities. In particular, theoretical work based on mathematical modeling has been a steady source of inspiration for explaining and predicting microbial community processes. Here, we survey some of the modeling approaches used in different contexts. We promote classifying different approaches using a unified platform, and encourage cataloging the findings in a database. We believe that the synergy emerging from a coherent collection facilitates a better understanding of important processes that determine microbial community functions. We emphasize the importance of close collaboration between theoreticians and experimentalists in formulating, classifying, and improving models of microbial communities. View Full-Text
Keywords: microbial communities; mathematical modeling; community ecology; interspecies interactions; mechanistic modeling; phenomenological modeling microbial communities; mathematical modeling; community ecology; interspecies interactions; mechanistic modeling; phenomenological modeling
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Zaccaria, M.; Dedrick, S.; Momeni, B. Modeling Microbial Communities: A Call for Collaboration between Experimentalists and Theorists. Processes 2017, 5, 53.

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