Experimental and mathematical modeling studies of protozoan predation on bacteria



The predation of bacteria by protozoan in both continuous and batch cultures was studied using experimental and modeling techniques. The predator organism was the ciliate, Tetrahymena pyriformis. The bacterium, Aerobacter aerogenes, served as the prey. Several batch growth responses were observed each initiated at a different nutrient level. Continuous cultures were conducted over a range of dilution rates. The models studied were partially successful in simulating the empirical data. Deviations between the model and the actual population behavior are discussed and possible explanations for the differences proposed.