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Emergent Biosynthetic Capacity in Simple Microbial Communities

Figure 2

A toy ecosystem of emergent biosynthetic capacity.

Both the red (A) and blue (B) species can successfully grow in mono-culture using the same medium that contains metabolites A and B. Yet, growing the two species in co-culture (C), an emergent biosynthetic capacity can be observed, as the red species utilized via cross-feeding (dashed lines) metabolite C that was secreted to the medium by the blue species, activating an alternative pathway for biomass production and secreting metabolite Y as a byproduct.

Figure 2