How microbes generate and use their energy to grow

ScienceDaily | 8/23/2019 | Staff
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Now, researchers have shown that it is possible to evoke a shift in the metabolism from fermentation to respiration of E. coli and baker's yeast by optimizing fermentation conditions. This shift means that the cells can be pushed into producing more internal energy (ATP).

"This information can be used to design new, improved cell factories," corresponding author Professor at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, and Scientific Director at The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability at DTU in Denmark Jens Nielsen says.

Postdoc - Yu - Chen - Department - Biology

Together with first-author Postdoc Yu Chen from Department of Biology and Biological Engineering at Chalmers, Jens Nielsen has studied the metabolism of E. coli and baker's yeast through the use of mathematical models and biological experiments. The research has now been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Cells constantly generate high-energy molecules called ATP from the sugar glucose. ATP is the cellular "food" consumed by the workers -- enzymes -- within cells. The enzymes use this energy to build biomass or do other cellular work. The more ATP available, the better the microbial workhorses perform in fermentations; at least in principle -- many other aspects play a part as well.

Approach - Researchers - ATP - Pathways - Respiratory

Using a computational approach, the researchers found out that ATP can be generated by either of two pathways: a high-yielding respiratory pathway resulting in 23.5 ATP's per glucose molecule or a low-yielding fermentative pathway, which only generates 11 ATP's per...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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