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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2006 Jan;4(1):46-56.

Modelling strategies for the industrial exploitation of lactic acid bacteria.

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Kluyver Centre for Genomics of Industrial Fermentations.


Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have a long tradition of use in the food industry, and the number and diversity of their applications has increased considerably over the years. Traditionally, process optimization for these applications involved both strain selection and trial and error. More recently, metabolic engineering has emerged as a discipline that focuses on the rational improvement of industrially useful strains. In the post-genomic era, metabolic engineering increasingly benefits from systems biology, an approach that combines mathematical modelling techniques with functional-genomics data to build models for biological interpretation and--ultimately--prediction. In this review, the industrial applications of LAB are mapped onto available global, genome-scale metabolic modelling techniques to evaluate the extent to which functional genomics and systems biology can live up to their industrial promise.

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