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A low-complexity metabolic network model for the respiratory and fermentative metabolism of Escherichia coli

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Over the last decades, predictive microbiology has made significant advances in the mathematical description of microbial spoiler and pathogen dynamics in or on food products. Recently, the focus of predictive microbiology has shifted from a (semi-)empirical population-level approach towards mechanistic models including information about the intracellular metabolism in order to increase model accuracy and genericness. However, incorporation of this subpopulation-level information increases model complexity and, consequently, the required run time to simulate microbial cell and population dynamics. In this paper, results of metabolic flux balance analyses (FBA) with a genome-scale model are used to calibrate a low-complexity linear model describing the microbial growth and metabolite secretion rates of Escherichia coli as a function of the nutrient and oxygen uptake rate. Hence, the required information about the cellular metabolism (i.e., biomass growth and secretion of cell products) is selected and included in the linear model without incorporating the complete intracellular reaction network. However, the applied FBAs are only representative for microbial dynamics under specific extracellular conditions, viz., a neutral medium without weak acids at a temperature of 37℃. Deviations from these reference conditions lead to metabolic shifts and adjustments of the cellular nutrient uptake or maintenance requirements. This metabolic dependency on extracellular conditions has been taken into account in our low-complex metabolic model. In this way, a novel approach is developed to take the synergistic effects of temperature, pH, and undissociated acids on the cell metabolism into account. Consequently, the developed model is deployable as a tool to describe, predict and control E. coli dynamics in and on food products under various combinations of environmental conditions. To emphasize this point,three specific scenarios are elaborated: (i) aerobic respiration without production of weak acid extracellular metabolites, (ii) anaerobic fermentation with secretion of mixed acid fermentation products into the food environment, and (iii) respiro-fermentative metabolic regimes in between the behaviors at aerobic and anaerobic conditions.
Tijdschrift: PloS one
ISSN: 1932-6203
Issue: 8
Volume: 13
Aantal pagina's: 27
Jaar van publicatie:2018