By Richard E. Lenski (auth.), K. C. Marshall (eds.)
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E. Lenski, B. R. Levin, and R. V. Evans (unpublished data) have examined the dynamics of virulent phage and bacteria in two serial transfer habitats. 9 ml offresh broth. The other habitat consisted of phage-infected colonies on agar Interactions between Bacteria and Virulent Bacteriophage 25 plates, small fractions (approximately 3%) of which were removed each day and transferred to fresh agar plates. Densities of virulent phage and bacteria in liquid culture were assayed by standard dilution and plating techniques.
Lenski librium. But the summary presented in Table I indicates that phage-limited bacterial densities are generally orders of magnitude below resource limitation, suggesting that the dynamics of the interaction could often be unstable. A perusal of the figures cited in Table I indicates that the interactions between virulent phage and sensitive bacteria are less stable than the interactions between bacteria and their resources. Rather than try to quantify this claim, I will let Fig. 3 be illustrative of this general tendency.
Lenski and Levin (1985) reported three extinctions, of both bacteria and phage, in ten replicate chemostats containing E. coli Band T4. Lenski and Levin (1985) also observed extinctions of virulent phage T5 in chemostats with E. coli B. The T5 extinctions, however, were subsequent to the evolution of resistant bacteria, and will be discussed later. There is no continuous source of mortality to a phage population in serial culture comparable to washout in chemostat culture. Hence, the possibilities of stable coexistence would seem more limited, as virulent phage may reach high densities for a sufficient length of time to encounter and destroy all sensitive bacteria, as shown in Fig.
Advances in Microbial Ecology by Richard E. Lenski (auth.), K. C. Marshall (eds.)