Mechanistic models of microbial community metabolism

Mol Omics. 2021 Jun 14;17(3):365-375. doi: 10.1039/d0mo00154f.


Microbial communities affect many facets of human health and well-being. Naturally occurring bacteria, whether in nature or the human body, rarely exist in isolation. A deeper understanding of the metabolic functions of these communities is now possible with emerging computational models. In this review, we summarize frameworks for constructing mechanistic models of microbial community metabolism and discuss available algorithms for model analysis. We highlight essential decision points that greatly influence algorithm selection, as well as model analysis. Polymicrobial metabolic models can be utilized to gain insights into host-pathogen interactions, bacterial engineering, and many more translational applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bacteria / metabolism*
  • Bioengineering
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans
  • Microbial Interactions
  • Microbiota
  • Models, Biological