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Aite, M., Chevallier, M., Frioux, C., Trottier, C., Got, J., Cortes, M. P., et al. (2018). Traceability, reproducibility and wiki-exploration for “a-la-carte” reconstructions of genome-scale metabolic models. PLoS Comput. Biol., 14(5), 25 pp.
Abstract: Genome-scale metabolic models have become the tool of choice for the global analysis of microorganism metabolism, and their reconstruction has attained high standards of quality and reliability. Improvements in this area have been accompanied by the development of some major platforms and databases, and an explosion of individual bioinformatics methods. Consequently, many recent model s result from “a la carte” pipelines, combining the use of platforms, individual tools and biological expertise to enhance the quality of the reconstruction. Although very useful, introducing heterogeneous tools, that hardly interact with each other, causes loss of traceability and reproducibility in the reconstruction process. This represents a real obstacle, especially when considering less studied species whose metabolic reconstruction can greatly benefit from the comparison to good quality models of related organisms. This work proposes an adaptable workspace, AuReMe, for sustainable reconstructions or improvements of genome-scale metabolic models involving personalized pipelines. At each step, relevant information related to the modifications brought to the model by a method is stored. This ensures that the process is reproducible and documented regardless of the combination of tools used. Additionally, the workspace establishes a way to browse metabolic models and their metadata through the automatic generation of ad-hoc local wikis dedicated to monitoring and facilitating the process of reconstruction. AuReMe supports exploration and semantic query based on RDF databases. We illustrate how this workspace allowed handling, in an integrated way, the metabolic reconstructions of non-model organisms such as an extremophile bacterium or eukaryote algae. Among relevant applications, the latter reconstruction led to putative evolutionary insights of a metabolic pathway.
Loira, N., Mendoza, S., Cortes, M. P., Rojas, N., Travisany, D., Di Genova, A., et al. (2017). Reconstruction of the microalga Nannochloropsis salina genome-scale metabolic model with applications to lipid production. BMC Syst. Biol., 11, 17 pp.
Abstract: Background: Nannochloropsis salina (= Eustigmatophyceae) is a marine microalga which has become a biotechnological target because of its high capacity to produce polyunsaturated fatty acids and triacylglycerols. It has been used as a source of biofuel, pigments and food supplements, like Omega 3. Only some Nannochloropsis species have been sequenced, but none of them benefit from a genome-scale metabolic model (GSMM), able to predict its metabolic capabilities. Results: We present iNS934, the first GSMM for N. salina, including 2345 reactions, 934 genes and an exhaustive description of lipid and nitrogen metabolism. iNS934 has a 90% of accuracy when making simple growth/no-growth predictions and has a 15% error rate in predicting growth rates in different experimental conditions. Moreover, iNS934 allowed us to propose 82 different knockout strategies for strain optimization of triacylglycerols. Conclusions: iNS934 provides a powerful tool for metabolic improvement, allowing predictions and simulations of N. salina metabolism under different media and genetic conditions. It also provides a systemic view of N. salina metabolism, potentially guiding research and providing context to -omics data.