The development and stability analysis of a nonlinear growth model for microorganisms

Yuhong Li, Hong Men, Gareth A. Thomson, Fangbao Tian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A nonlinear dynamic model of microbial growth is established based on the theories of the diffusion response of thermodynamics and the chemotactic response of biology. Except for the two traditional variables, i.e. the density of bacteria and the concentration of attractant, the pH value, a crucial influencing factor to the microbial growth, is also considered in this model. The pH effect on the microbial growth is taken as a Gaussian function G0e-(f- fc)2/G1, where G0, G1 and fc are constants, f represents the pH value and fc represents the critical pH value that best fits for microbial growth. To study the effects of the reproduction rate of the bacteria and the pH value on the stability of the system, three parameters a, G0 and G1 are studied in detail, where a denotes the reproduction rate of the bacteria, G0 denotes the impacting intensity of the pH value to microbial growth and G1 denotes the bacterial adaptability to the pH value. When the effect of the pH value of the solution which microorganisms live in is ignored in the governing equations of the model, the microbial system is more stable with larger a. When the effect of the bacterial chemotaxis is ignored, the microbial system is more stable with the larger G1 and more unstable with the larger G0 for f0 > fc. However, the stability of the microbial system is almost unaffected by the variation G0 and G1 and it is always stable for f0 < fc under the assumed conditions in this paper. In the whole system model, it is more unstable with larger G1 and more stable with larger G0 for f0 < fc. The system is more stable with larger G1 and more unstable with larger G0 for f0 > fc. However, the system is more unstable with larger a for f0 < fc and the stability of the system is almost unaffected by a for f0 > fc. The results obtained in this study provide a biophysical insight into the understanding of the growth and stability behavior of microorganisms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-438
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Biomathematics
Volume3
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

Keywords

  • chemotactic response
  • pH effect
  • microbial growth
  • stability
  • nonlinear model

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