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New paper: Dynamics of ColicinE2 production and release determine the competitive success of a toxin-producing population


A. S. Weiß, A. Götz and M. Opitz
Scientific Reports 10, 4052, (2020), Show article

Microbial interactions like cooperation and competition govern ecosystem dynamics influencing ecosystem composition, maintenance of diversity and the microbiota-host relationship. Toxin production, such as the production of the bacteriocin ColicinE2, is one mechanism enabling bacteria to respond to changing environmental conditions and to outcompete other bacteria.
In previous studies, the Opitz group investigated the dynamics of ColicinE2 production and release at the single cell level and showed how ColicinE2 production dynamics are controlled by both transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulators. Furthermore, the Opitz group demonstrated that stochasticity and division of labour affect the competition of the toxin-producing strain (the C strain) with a strain that is sensitive towards the toxin (the S strain) and consequently determines the population dynamics of this two strain S-C community. In the current study, the Opitz group now shows that the dynamics of ColicinE2 production, affecting C-S competition, are also dependent on the nutrient available in the surrounding growth medium, in particular, the main carbon source. In summary, the study shows how toxin release dynamics influence the competitive success of the toxin producing bacterial population.