The Secret of Good Taste: Novel Approaches for Metabolic Flux Analysis of Microorganisms and Plants in Agro-biotechnology
Metabolic Engineering Conference
Wednesday, June 29, 2016 - 8:50am to 9:15am
One of the most important tasks for biotechnology is ensuring food security and raw material availability over the next fifty years. The increasing world population and the shortage of arable land are major drivers to develop next-generation plants and processes in agro-biotechnology in order to cope with the growing demand for food, feed and raw materials. Without doubt, the enormous complexity of the underlying biological and technological systems displays a huge challenge, but, at the same time holds the key for the implementation of knowledge-based engineering and optimization strategies (1).
Here, we have taken approaches from microbial systems biology and systems biotechnology into the area of agro-biotechnology. In particular, the lecture will demonstrate the application of metabolic flux analysis to support safe and efficient production of human nutrition and illustrate its potential via two examples. First, it will describe the analysis of mixed microbial fermentations of cocoa, the core piece of chocolate manufacturing. A comprehensive approach of experimental design, parallel isotope studies and metabolic network modelling allowed studying the cooperation of different bacterial species to bring out what we all love: chocolate flavor (2, 3). Second, novel concepts to quantify metabolic fluxes plants will be discussed. The power of in silico network modelling will be demonstrated fort the model plant Arabidopsis (4), while novel technological approaches for in vivo metabolic flux quantification will be shown for whole rice plants, staple food for more than 3 billion people worldwide (5).
- Dersch L, Beckers V, Wittmann C (2016) Green pathways: Metabolic network analysis of plant systems. Metab. Eng. 34:1-24.
- Adler P, Frey LJ, Berger A, Bolten C J, Hansen C E, Wittmann C (2014) The key to acetate: Metabolic fluxes of acetic acid bacteria under cocoa pulp fermentation simulating conditions.
- Adler P, Bolten CJ, Dohnt K, Hansen CE, Wittmann C (2013) Core fluxome and meta-fluxome of lactic acid bacteria under cocoa pulp fermentation simulating conditions. Appl. Environ. Microb. 79: 5670-5681.
- Beckers V, Dersch LM, Lotz K, Melzer G, Bläsing OE, Fuchs R, Ehrhardt T, Wittmann C (2016) In silico metabolic network analysis of Arabidopsis leaves. Under revision.
- Dersch L, Beckers V, Rasch D, Melzer G, Bolten CJ, Kiep K, Becker H, Blaesing H, Fuchs R, Ehrhardt T, Wittmann C (2016) Novel approach for high-throughput metabolic screening of whole plants by stable isotopes. Plant Physiol. 171:25-41.