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Nat Genet. 2004 Oct;36(10):1056-8. Epub 2004 Sep 26.

Metabolic gene-deletion strains of Escherichia coli evolve to computationally predicted growth phenotypes.

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  • 1Department of Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0412, USA.


Genome-scale metabolic models have a promising ability to describe cellular phenotypes accurately. Here we show that strains of Escherichia coli carrying a deletion of a single metabolic gene increase their growth rates (by 87% on average) during adaptive evolution and that the endpoint growth rates can be predicted computationally in 39 of 50 (78%) strains tested. These results show that computational models can be used to predict the eventual effects of genetic modifications.

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