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The Evolution of Competition and Cooperation: how polymorphisms in microbial populations optimise virulence and mediate drug resistance

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 MathModExp project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the MathModExp project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "MathModExp" about.

defences    perturb    stresses    theory    destroy    food    formulate    vivo    empirical    antimicrobial    microbial    antibiotic    threatening    ultimately    populations    fundamental    communities    outstanding    form    competition    dynamics    plant    theoretical    cell    human    sources    virulence    microbials    acquire    nutrients    quantifying    metabolism    ecology    communicate    susceptible    polymorphic    predictions    intricate    strategies    molecular    challenged    understand    predict    individual    community    acquisition    fitness    data    establishing    resistant    dissect    utilise    composition    strains    shift    species    hosts    maximise    compete    players    will    diseases    incorporating    tools    interactions    cooperate    basic    host    combination    resource    impacts    resilient    mediated    population    genetics    principles    polymicrobial    nutrient    pathogens    antimicrobials    evolutionary    antibiotics    microbes    utilisation    overlooked    resistance    life    ecological    multiple    physiology    pathogenicity    integrating    vitro    synthesise    determined   

Project "MathModExp" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: EXETER
postcode: EX4 4QJ

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 1˙968˙392 €
 EC max contribution 1˙968˙392 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-CoG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-09-01   to  2021-03-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    THE UNIVERSITY OF EXETER UK (EXETER) coordinator 1˙968˙392.00


 Project objective

Microbes form intricate communities where multiple strains and species communicate cooperate and compete, they can cause life-threatening diseases and destroy our food sources. Metabolism is key to these interactions, yet the way microbes acquire and utilise nutrients is often overlooked in evolutionary studies of pathogenicity, virulence and antibiotic resistance. I will address this by quantifying how microbial community composition is determined by the metabolism, genetics and physiology of individual players, establishing principles by which microbial composition affects virulence and antimicrobial resistance. Competition for resources is the most basic of ecological interactions, fundamental because one cell directly impacts the fitness of others. It is only by incorporating nutrient acquisition and utilisation into studies of virulence and antibiotic resistance that we can predict, and ultimately control, the evolutionary response of microbes to resource stresses, antimicrobials and host defences. I will address two outstanding problems: Challenge one: Pathogens must acquire nutrients from their hosts, but what combination of different resource acquisition and utilisation strategies maximise population success and, therefore, virulence? Challenge two: Antibiotics can perturb the composition of polymicrobial communities from susceptible to resistant species but how is this shift mediated by resource utilisation strategies? Fully integrating empirical data and theory, concepts from ecology and evolutionary dynamics will be key. We will formulate new theoretical tools that allow us to make predictions that will be fully challenged by data, both in vitro and in vivo. This research will exploit advances in the molecular genetics of important plant and human pathogens and we will use them to synthesise polymorphic microbial populations and polymicrobial communities. We will dissect these to understand what makes microbials so resilient to the challenges they face.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Richard J. Lindsay, Bogna J. Pawlowska, Ivana Gudelj
Privatization of public goods can cause population decline
published pages: 1206-1216, ISSN: 2397-334X, DOI: 10.1038/s41559-019-0944-9
Nature Ecology & Evolution 3/8 2020-04-03
2016 Ivana Gudelj, Margie Kinnersley, Peter Rashkov, Karen Schmidt, Frank Rosenzweig
Stability of Cross-Feeding Polymorphisms in Microbial Communities
published pages: e1005269, ISSN: 1553-7358, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005269
PLOS Computational Biology 12/12 2019-06-05
2018 Richard J. Lindsay, Bogna J. Pawlowska, Ivana Gudelj
When increasing population density can promote the evolution of metabolic cooperation
published pages: 849-859, ISSN: 1751-7362, DOI: 10.1038/s41396-017-0016-6
The ISME Journal 12/3 2019-06-05
2016 Richard J Lindsay, Michael J Kershaw, Bogna J Pawlowska, Nicholas J Talbot, Ivana Gudelj
Harbouring public good mutants within a pathogen population can increase both fitness and virulence
published pages: , ISSN: 2050-084X, DOI: 10.7554/eLife.18678
eLife 5 2019-06-05
2017 Carlos Reding-Roman, Mark Hewlett, Sarah Duxbury, Fabio Gori, Ivana Gudelj, Robert Beardmore
The unconstrained evolution of fast and efficient antibiotic-resistant bacterial genomes
published pages: 50, ISSN: 2397-334X, DOI: 10.1038/s41559-016-0050
Nature Ecology & Evolution 1/3 2019-06-05
2018 Robert E. Beardmore, Emily Cook, Susanna Nilsson, Adam R. Smith, Anna Tillmann, Brooke D. Esquivel, Ken Haynes, Neil A. R. Gow, Alistair J. P. Brown, Theodore C. White, Ivana Gudelj
Drug-mediated metabolic tipping between antibiotic resistant states in a mixed-species community
published pages: 1312-1320, ISSN: 2397-334X, DOI: 10.1038/s41559-018-0582-7
Nature Ecology & Evolution 2/8 2019-06-05

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