How nested and monogamous infection networks in host-phage communities come to be

Daniel A. Korytowski, Hal Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


We show that a chemostat community of bacteria and bacteriophage in which bacteria compete for a single nutrient and for which the bipartite infection network is perfectly nested is permanent, a.k.a. uniformly persistent, provided that bacteria that are superior competitors for nutrient devote the least effort to defence against infection and the virus that are the most efficient at infecting host have the smallest host range. This confirms an earlier work of Jover et al. (J. Theor. Biol. 332:65–77, 2013) who raised the issue of whether nested infection networks are permanent. In addition, we provide sufficient conditions that a bacteria-phage community of arbitrary size with nested infection network can arise through a succession of permanent subcommunties each with a nested infection network by the successive addition of one new population. The same permanence results hold for the monogamous infection network considered by Thingstad (Limnol Oceanogr 45:1320–1328, 2000) but without the trade-offs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-120
Number of pages10
JournalTheoretical Ecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Bacteriophage
  • Competitive exclusion principle
  • Ecological succession
  • Nested infection network
  • Permanence
  • Predator-mediated coexistence
  • persistence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Ecological Modeling


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