Bacterial competition in serial transfer culture

Hal Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


A mathematical model of bacterial competition for a single growth-limiting substrate in serial transfer culture is formulated. Each bacterial strain is characterized by a growth response function, e.g. Monod function determined by a maximum growth rate and half-saturation nutrient concentration, and the length of its lag phase following the dilution event. The goal of our study is to understand what factors determine an organisms fitness or competitive ability in serial transfer culture. A motivating question is: how many strains can coexist in serial transfer culture? Unlike competition in the chemostat, coexistence of two strains can occur in serial transfer culture. Numerical simulations suggest that more than two may coexist.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-159
Number of pages11
JournalMathematical Biosciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Coexistence
  • Competition for nutrient
  • Competitive exclusion
  • Fitness
  • Lag phase
  • Serial transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Applied Mathematics


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