Genome-scale modeling of light-driven reductant partitioning and carbon fluxes in diazotrophic unicellular cyanobacterium Cyanothece sp. ATCC 51142

PLoS Comput Biol. 2012;8(4):e1002460. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002460. Epub 2012 Apr 5.

Abstract

Genome-scale metabolic models have proven useful for answering fundamental questions about metabolic capabilities of a variety of microorganisms, as well as informing their metabolic engineering. However, only a few models are available for oxygenic photosynthetic microorganisms, particularly in cyanobacteria in which photosynthetic and respiratory electron transport chains (ETC) share components. We addressed the complexity of cyanobacterial ETC by developing a genome-scale model for the diazotrophic cyanobacterium, Cyanothece sp. ATCC 51142. The resulting metabolic reconstruction, iCce806, consists of 806 genes associated with 667 metabolic reactions and includes a detailed representation of the ETC and a biomass equation based on experimental measurements. Both computational and experimental approaches were used to investigate light-driven metabolism in Cyanothece sp. ATCC 51142, with a particular focus on reductant production and partitioning within the ETC. The simulation results suggest that growth and metabolic flux distributions are substantially impacted by the relative amounts of light going into the individual photosystems. When growth is limited by the flux through photosystem I, terminal respiratory oxidases are predicted to be an important mechanism for removing excess reductant. Similarly, under photosystem II flux limitation, excess electron carriers must be removed via cyclic electron transport. Furthermore, in silico calculations were in good quantitative agreement with the measured growth rates whereas predictions of reaction usage were qualitatively consistent with protein and mRNA expression data, which we used to further improve the resolution of intracellular flux values.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Carbon Cycle / physiology*
  • Carbon Cycle / radiation effects
  • Computer Simulation
  • Cyanothece / metabolism*
  • Cyanothece / radiation effects
  • Genome / physiology*
  • Light
  • Models, Biological*
  • Proteome / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / radiation effects

Substances

  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Proteome