Targeted metabolic reconstruction: a novel approach for the characterization of plant-pathogen interactions

Brief Bioinform. 2011 Mar;12(2):151-62. doi: 10.1093/bib/bbq009. Epub 2010 Mar 29.


Genome-scale metabolic reconstruction (GEMR), along with flux balance analysis, has been widely used to study complex metabolic networks in several microbial organisms. This approach is of particular applicability in biological systems where the lack of kinetics data is typical. This is the case of plant-pathogen interactions, where these methods open the possibility of studying host metabolic network phenotype during the interaction with pathogens. Since GEMRs are based on sequenced genomes, its applicability to organisms where genomic information is lacking is limited. Here we describe an alternative approach to GEMR: targeted metabolic reconstruction, where network reconstruction is guided by transcriptomic data instead of genomic information. This approach is being applied successfully in our laboratory for the Phytophthora infestans--Solanum tuberosum pathosystem.

MeSH terms

  • Computational Biology / methods*
  • Genome
  • Host-Parasite Interactions
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways*
  • Phytophthora infestans / pathogenicity*
  • Plant Diseases / parasitology
  • Solanum tuberosum / parasitology*