Colonization of spatially structured synthetic ecosystems. (A) Device of type-1 with 5 parallel habitats (habitats 1 to 5 from top to bottom), each consisting of 85 patches, with separate inlets. Red cells are inoculated on the right (indicated by red inlet holes) and green cells on the left (green inlet holes). (B) Device of type-2 with a single, shared, inlet. Except for the inlet, devices in A and B are identical. (C) Enlarged schematic view of the devices shown in A and B showing an array of patches of 100 × 100 × 5 μm3 linked by connectors of 50 × 5 × 5 μm3. Note that the bacteria are not to scale. (D) Kymograph of fluorescence intensity of the left most 25 patches for strain JEK1036 (green) showing a typical pattern of landscape invasion consisting of three subsequent colonization waves (α at t ≈ 3.5 h, β at t ≈ 5 h and γ at t ≈ 6 h) followed by the expansion front (at t ≈ 6 h); scale bar = 1 mm. The inset at the top shows an enlarged view of the α wave just after entering the habitat from the inlet; scale bar = 100 μm.
van Vliet et al. BMC Microbiology 2014 14:116 doi:10.1186/1471-2180-14-116