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BMC Syst Biol. 2009 Oct 29;3:104. doi: 10.1186/1752-0509-3-104.

13C-metabolic flux ratio and novel carbon path analyses confirmed that Trichoderma reesei uses primarily the respirative pathway also on the preferred carbon source glucose.

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  • 1VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Espoo, Finland.



The filamentous fungus Trichoderma reesei is an important host organism for industrial enzyme production. It is adapted to nutrient poor environments where it is capable of producing large amounts of hydrolytic enzymes. In its natural environment T. reesei is expected to benefit from high energy yield from utilization of respirative metabolic pathway. However, T. reesei lacks metabolic pathway reconstructions and the utilization of the respirative pathway has not been investigated on the level of in vivo fluxes.


The biosynthetic pathways of amino acids in T. reesei supported by genome-level evidence were reconstructed with computational carbon path analysis. The pathway reconstructions were a prerequisite for analysis of in vivo fluxes. The distribution of in vivo fluxes in both wild type strain and cre1, a key regulator of carbon catabolite repression, deletion strain were quantitatively studied by performing 13C-labeling on both repressive carbon source glucose and non-repressive carbon source sorbitol. In addition, the 13C-labeling on sorbitol was performed both in the presence and absence of sophorose that induces the expression of cellulase genes. Carbon path analyses and the 13C-labeling patterns of proteinogenic amino acids indicated high similarity between biosynthetic pathways of amino acids in T. reesei and yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In contrast to S. cerevisiae, however, mitochondrial rather than cytosolic biosynthesis of Asp was observed under all studied conditions. The relative anaplerotic flux to the TCA cycle was low and thus characteristic to respiratory metabolism in both strains and independent of the carbon source. Only minor differences were observed in the flux distributions of the wild type and cre1 deletion strain. Furthermore, the induction of the hydrolytic gene expression did not show altered flux distributions and did not affect the relative amino acid requirements or relative anabolic and respirative activities of the TCA cycle.


High similarity between the biosynthetic pathways of amino acids in T. reesei and yeast S. cerevisiae was concluded. In vivo flux distributions confirmed that T. reesei uses primarily the respirative pathway also when growing on the repressive carbon source glucose in contrast to Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which substantially diminishes the respirative pathway flux under glucose repression.

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