Infection networks, life-history traits, and dynamics in complex virus-microbe systems
Jover, Luis F
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Bacteria and their viral parasites, i.e., phages, are found in natural environments from oceans, soils to the human gut. Phages are key players in ecosystems responsible for a significant portion of microbial mortality. Individual phages can infect a subset of bacteria types in a community as part of complex infection networks. In this thesis we study the interplay between infection networks, life-history traits, and the resulting dynamics in systems with multiple host and phage types. First, we study the trade-off necessary for the coexistence of multiple hosts and phages in systems with statistically realistic infection networks. Second, we study how the trends of network architecture vs. biodiversity depend on life-history traits. Finally, we put forward a method for reconstructing infection networks using measurements of the densities from the dynamics.