Can Genome Sequencing Coupled to Flux Balance Analyses Offer Precision Guidance for Industrial Strain Development? The Lessons from Carbon Trafficking in Corynebacterium glutamicum ATCC 21573

OMICS. 2023 Sep;27(9):434-443. doi: 10.1089/omi.2023.0098.


Systems biology tools offer new prospects for industrial strain selection. For bacteria that are significant for industrial applications, whole-genome sequencing coupled to flux balance analysis (FBA) can help unpack the complex relationships between genome mutations and carbon trafficking. This work investigates the l-tyrosine (l-Tyr) overproducing model system Corynebacterium glutamicum ATCC 21573 with an eye to more rational and precision strain development. Using genome-wide mutational analysis of C. glutamicum, we identified 27,611 single nucleotide polymorphisms and 479 insertion/deletion mutations. Mutations in the carbon uptake machinery have led to phosphotransferase system-independent routes as corroborated with FBA. Mutations within the central carbon metabolism of C. glutamicum impaired the carbon flux, as evidenced by the lower growth rate. The entry to and flow through the tricarboxylic acid cycle was affected by mutations in pyruvate and α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complexes, citrate synthase, and isocitrate dehydrogenase. FBA indicated that the estimated flux through the shikimate pathway became larger as the l-Tyr production rate increased. In addition, protocatechuate export was probabilistically impossible, which could have contributed to the l-Tyr accumulation. Interestingly, aroG and cg0975, which have received previous attention for aromatic amino acid overproduction, were not mutated. From the branch point molecule, prephenate, the change in the promoter region of pheA could be an influential contributor. In summary, we suggest that genome sequencing coupled with FBA is well poised to offer rational guidance for industrial strain development, as evidenced by these findings on carbon trafficking in C. glutamicum ATCC 21573.

Keywords: Corynebacterium glutamicum; carbon trafficking; flux balance analysis; genome sequencing; industrial strain development; l-tyrosine overproduction.

MeSH terms

  • Carbon
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Corynebacterium glutamicum* / genetics
  • Industry


  • shikimate
  • Carbon