We therefore have no conclusive evidence that the degree of similarity between habitats is caused by the initial cultures used to inoculate them, however, our results suggest that the initial cultures might affect colonization patterns to some degree. At the moments it is unclear
which other mechanism causes the observed similarity between the replicate habitats in the type-1 and 2 devices. It should be noted that the actual habitats in all device types are identical and that the only differences are in the number of parallel habitats, the inlets and the inoculation procedure (see Mocetinostat in vivo Methods). Therefore, the only two differences between type-1 and 2 devices and type 5 devices are: (i) the reduced number of replicate-habitats (2 instead of 5). Additional file BMS202 2 shows that in some cases there is substantial variation between the population distributions in replicate habitats on the same device (e.g. devices 5 and 6, Additional file 2).
Therefore, having only two replicate habitats could reduce the likelihood of detecting a significant effect of the initial culture on the similarity in population distributions; (ii) in type-5 devices habitats inoculated from the same cultures are further apart (900 μm compared to 300 μm) and are separated by a habitat inoculated from a different culture set; and (iii) for the type-5 devices variation in the preparation of overnight cultures was reduced: instead of taking a sample (of undefined volume) of the frozen −80°C stock, buy Poziotinib a defined volume of a thawed aliquot of this stock was used to start the overnight cultures (see Methods). Our results
show that spatial proximity is not sufficient to make patterns of different cultures similar (device type-5), nor is it required to keep patterns of the same cultures similar (device type-4). Nevertheless, we cannot rule out that there is some limited coupling between the habitats. There is a possibility that weak coupling works in concert find more with culture history to produce similar patterns, but is not sufficient to produce an effect on its own if neighboring populations do not originate from the same initial cultures. Nevertheless, we do observe a striking and significant degree of similarity between neighboring habitats located on the same device and inoculated from the same initial cultures (Figure 6, Additional files 2 and 3) that to the best of our knowledge cannot be explained by any abiotic factors. Despite the many open questions, our results do show that colonization patterns are in a large part shaped by (currently unknown) deterministic factors, while stochastic effects are only of limited importance. Conclusion We studied the invasion and colonization of spatially structured habitats by two neutrally labeled strains of E. coli.