Collective Emergent State Between Marine Bacteria and Viruses
Hong-Yan Shih1*, Tim Rogers2, Nigel Goldenfeld1
1Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
2Department of Mathematical Science, University of Bath, Bath, Somerset, UK
* Presenter:Hong-Yan Shih, email:hshih7@illinois.edu
The key feature in condensed matter physics is the emergence of collective states. A remarkable example of collective states in biology, with great significance for the functioning of the planet’s global carbon cycle is the world’s most abundant organism marine cyanobacteria Prochlorococcus spp. and its phages. I develop a spatially-extended individual-level model of the ecosystem and show that Monte Carlo simulation predicts that a collective state emerges through the gene flow between bacteria and viruses, resulting in the improvement of photosynthesis genes and the enlargement of the range and stability of the ecosystem. This mechanism shows that non-equilibrium spatio-temporal antagonistic interactions between organisms, on scales ranging from genomes to the environment, can drive the emergence of collective stability in predator-prey ecosystems.

This work is supported in part by a cooperative agreement with NASA, grant NA13AA91A/A0018.


Keywords: collective behavior, coevolution, stochastic spatial pattern formation, predator-prey dynamics