Analysis and IbM simulation of the stages in bacterial lag phase: basis for an updated definition
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The lag phase is the initial phase of a culture that precedes exponential growth and occurs when the conditions of the culture medium differ from the pre-inoculation conditions. It is usually defined by means of cell density because the number of individuals remains approximately constant or slowly increases, and it is quantified with the lag parameter l. The lag phase has been studied through mathematical modelling and by means of specific experiments. In recent years, Individual-based Modelling (IbM) has provided helpful insights into lag phase studies. In this paper, the definition of lag phase is thoroughly examined. Evolution of the total biomass and the total number of bacteria during lag phase is tackled separately. The lag phase lasts until the culture reaches a maximum growth rate both in biomass and cell density. Once in the exponential phase, both rates are constant over time and equal to each other. Both evolutions are split into an initial phase and a transition phase, according to their growth rates. A population-level mathematical model is presented to describe the transitional phase in cell density. INDividual DIScrete SIMulation (INDISIM) is used to check the outcomes of this analysis. Simulations allow the separate study of the evolution of cell density and total biomass in a batch culture, they provide a depiction of different observed cases in lag evolution at the individual-cell level, and are used to test the population-level model. The results show that the geometrical lag parameter l is not appropriate as a universal definition for the lag phase. Moreover, the lag phase cannot be characterized by a single parameter. For the studied cases, the lag phases of both the total biomass and the population are required to fully characterize the evolution of bacterial cultures. The results presented prove once more that the lag phase is a complex process that requires a more complete definition. This will be possible only after the phenomena governing the population dynamics at an individual level of description, and occurring during the lag and exponential growth phases, are well understood.
CitationPrats, C. [et al.]. Analysis and IbM simulation of the stages in bacterial lag phase: basis for an updated definition. "Journal of theoretical biology", Maig 2008, vol. 252, núm. 1, p. 56-68.