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FEBS Lett. 2010 Jun 18;584(12):2556-64. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2010.04.052. Epub 2010 Apr 24.

Use of genome-scale metabolic models for understanding microbial physiology.

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  • 1Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.


The exploitation of microorganisms in industrial, medical, food and environmental biotechnology requires a comprehensive understanding of their physiology. The availability of genome sequences and accumulation of high-throughput data allows gaining understanding of microbial physiology at the systems level, and genome-scale metabolic models represent a valuable framework for integrative analysis of metabolism of microorganisms. Genome-scale metabolic models are reconstructed based on a combination of genome sequence information and detailed biochemical information, and these reconstructed models can be used for analyzing and simulating the operation of metabolism in response to different stimuli. Here we discuss the requirement for having detailed physiological insight in order to exploit microorganisms for production of fuels, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. We further describe the reconstruction process of genome-scale metabolic models and different algorithms that can be used to apply these models to gain improved insight into microbial physiology.

Copyright 2010 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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