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Biotechnol Prog. 2011 May-Jun;27(3):631-40. doi: 10.1002/btpr.596. Epub 2011 May 12.

A model-based method for investigating bioenergetic processes in autotrophically growing eukaryotic microalgae: application to the green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

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GEPEA - UMR CNRS 6144, Université de Nantes, Bât. CRTT, 37 bd de l'Université, BP 406, F-44602 Saint-Nazaire Cedex, France.


A constraint-based modeling approach was developed to investigate the metabolic response of the eukaryotic microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii under photoautotrophic conditions. The model explicitly includes thermodynamic and energetic constraints on the functioning metabolism. A mixed integer linear programming method was used to determine the optimal flux distributions with regard to this set of constraints. It enabled us, in particular, to highlight the existence of a light-driven respiration depending on the incident photon flux density in photobioreactors functioning in physical light limitation.

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