A mechanistic investigation of the algae growth “droop” model

Acta Biotheoretica (forthcoming)
In this work a mechanistic explanation of the classical algae growth model built by M. R. Droop in the late sixties is proposed. We first recall the history of the construction of the “predictive” variable yield Droop model as well as the meaning of the introduced cell quota. We then introduce some theoretical hypotheses on the biological phenomena involved in nutrient storage by the algae that lead us to a “conceptual” model. Though more complex than Droop’s one, our model remains accessible to a complete mathematical study: its confrontation to the Droop model shows both have the same asymptotic behavior. However, while Droop’s cell quota comes from experimental bio-chemical measurements not related to intra-cellular biological phenomena, its analogous in our model directly follows our theoretical hypotheses. This new model should then be looked at as a re-interpretation of Droop’s work from a theoretical biologist’s point of view.
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