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Title: Modelling and analysis of ecological interactions in microbial community based bioreactors
Author: Di, Sihao
ISNI:       0000 0004 8507 2336
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2020
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Microbial communities refer to a number of microorganisms living together. To-date, a number of naturally occurring microbial communities are used for engineering purposes, e.g. anaerobic digestion, and the construction of artificial communities opens the door to wider applications. In microbial communities, the ecological interactions between species (e.g. competition, predation and mutualism) play important roles. The purpose of this thesis is to explore (1) the implications of such interactions in a bioreactor in terms of productivity and stability, and (2) the inference of such interactions particularly in a complex microbial community in order to form a basis for further manipulation such as optimisation and control. This work firstly studies the cases involving different microbial species at the same trophic level, with a particular focus on the potential of overyielding (the collective yield of multiple microalgae species, in terms of overall biomass abundance or a specific biomass component, is greater than that of any single species grown in the same system) in the poly-culture of microalgae arising from the complementary use of a key resource, namely light over the spectrum range of photosynthetically active radiation. Using a mathematical model, it is demonstrated that complementarity of light absorption alone does not guarantee overyielding; other factors such as the operational settings (e.g. loss rate of the bioreactor) and species traits (complementarity of light absorption spectra) can also affect the possibility and the degree of overyielding and even the co-existence of multiple species.
Supervisor: Yang, Aidong Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available