Swimming in Light: A Large-Scale Computational Analysis of the Metabolism of Dinoroseobacter shibae

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The Roseobacter clade is a ubiquitous group of marine α-proteobacteria. To gain insight into the versatile metabolism of this clade, we took a constraint-based approach and created a genome-scale metabolic model (iDsh827) of Dinoroseobacter shibae DFL12T. Our model is the first accounting for the energy demand of motility, the light-driven ATP generation and experimentally determined specific biomass composition. To cover a large variety of environmental conditions, as well as plasmid and single gene knock-out mutants, we simulated 391,560 different physiological states using flux balance analysis. We analyzed our results with regard to energy metabolism, validated them experimentally, and revealed a pronounced metabolic response to the availability of light. Furthermore, we introduced the energy demand of motility as an important parameter in genome-scale metabolic models. The results of our simulations also gave insight into the changing usage of the two degradation routes for dimethylsulfoniopropionate, an abundant compound in the ocean. A side product of dimethylsulfoniopropionate degradation is dimethyl sulfide, which seeds cloud formation and thus enhances the reflection of sunlight. By our exhaustive simulations, we were able to identify single-gene knock-out mutants, which show an increased production of dimethyl sulfide. In addition to the single-gene knock-out simulations we studied the effect of plasmid loss on the metabolism. Moreover, we explored the possible use of a functioning phosphofructokinase for D. shibae. © 2013 Rex et al.




Rex, R., Bill, N., Schmidt-Hohagen, K., & Schomburg, D. (2013). Swimming in Light: A Large-Scale Computational Analysis of the Metabolism of Dinoroseobacter shibae. PLoS Computational Biology, 9(10). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003224

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