Lectures and seminars What is life? seminar: On the growth of bacteria in the human colon
Speaker: Terry Hwa, University of California San Diego, U.S.A
Host: Ingemar Ernberg
The Lecture will be followed by a discussion in Room C333, Biomedicum
The human gut harbors a dynamic microbial community whose composition bears great importance for the health of the host. Here, we investigate how colonic physiology impacts bacterial growth behaviors, which ultimately dictate the gut microbiota composition. Combining measurements of bacterial growth physiology with analysis of published data on human physiology into a quantitative modeling framework, we show how hydrodynamic forces in the colon, in concert with other physiological factors, determine the build-up of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) in the gut. SCFAs in turn dictate the abundances of the major bacterial phyla in the gut through a universal growth inhibitory mechanism.