Biochemical constraints and protein allocation govern the evolution of crossfeeding, e.g. a shared pathway for tryptophan biosynthesis, in endosymbiotic communities.
Metabolic Complementation in Bacterial Communities: Necessary Conditions and Optimality
Mori M, Ponce-de-León M, Peretó J, Montero F.
Front Microbiol2016 Oct.; 7: 1553.
Bacterial communities may display metabolic complementation, in which different members of the association partially contribute to the same biosynthetic pathway. In this way, the end product of the pathway is synthesized by the community as a whole. However, the emergence and the benefits of such complementation are poorly understood. Herein, we present a simple model to analyze the metabolic interactions among bacteria, including the host in the case of endosymbiotic bacteria. The model considers two cell populations, with both cell types encoding for the same linear biosynthetic pathway. We have found that, for metabolic complementation to emerge as an optimal strategy, both product inhibition and large permeabilities are needed. In the light of these results, we then consider the patterns found in the case of tryptophan biosynthesis in the endosymbiont consortium hosted by the aphid Cinara cedri. Using in-silico computed physicochemical properties of metabolites of this and other biosynthetic pathways, we verified that the splitting point of the pathway corresponds to the most permeable intermediate.