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Paper as a simple tool to study bacterial ecology
Community interactions based on various parameters in defined niches have been studied to understand their influence on bacterial life. Yet there currently are no models that can depict how spatial interactions control the complex combinatorics of different microbial communities. Biodiversity influences the ecosystem properties of bacterial communities, but the relationship between bacterial biodiversity and function remains to be understood entirely. Here, the focus is on developing a simple and effective platform to study neighborhood interactions between different species of lactic acid bacteria by controlling two metrics – distance and composition. Using this simple platform, I explore 1) how spatial and temporal arrangement between different bacteria affect their interaction in a high throughput manner, 2) how biodiversity can be manipulated in terms of its starting population, the number of species, and species identity.