The dynamics of a microbial community consisting of a eucaryotic ciliate Tetrahymena pyriformis and procaryotic Escherichia coli in a batch culture is explored by employing an individual-based approach. In this portion of the article, Part I, population models are presented. Because both models are individual-based, models of individual organisms are developed prior to construction of the population models. The individual models use an energy budget method in which growth depends on energy gain from feeding and energy sinks such as maintenance and reproduction. These models are not limited by simplifying assumptions about constant yield, constant energy sinks and Monod growth kinetics as are traditional models of microbal organisms. Population models are generated from individual models by creating distinct individual types and assigning to each type the number of real individuals they represent. A population is a compilation of individual types that vary in a phase of cell cycle and physiological parameters such as filtering rate for ciliates and maximum anabolic rate for bacteria. An advantage of the developed models is that they realistically describe the growth of the individual cells feeding on resource which varies in density and composition. Part II, the core of the project, integrates models into a dynamic microbial community and provides model analysis based upon available data.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/terry_schultz/97/