An adjustable algal chloroplast plug-and-play model for genome-scale metabolic models
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonPLOS ONE. 2020, 15 (2), . https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0229408
The chloroplast is a central part of plant cells, as this is the organelle where the photosynthesis, fixation of inorganic carbon, and other key functions related to fatty acid synthesis and amino acid synthesis occur. Since this organelle should be an integral part of any genome-scale metabolic model for a microalgae or a higher plant, it is of great interest to generate a detailed and standardized chloroplast model. Additionally, we see the need for a novel type of sub-model template, or organelle model, which could be incorporated into a larger, less specific genome-scale metabolic model, while allowing for minor differences between chloroplast-containing organisms. The result of this work is the very first standardized chloroplast model, iGR774, consisting of 788 reactions, 764 metabolites, and 774 genes. The model is currently able to run in three different modes, mimicking the chloroplast metabolism of three photosynthetic microalgae–Nannochloropsis gaditana, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Phaeodactylum tricornutum. In addition to developing the chloroplast metabolic network reconstruction, we have developed multiple software tools for working with this novel type of sub-model in the COBRA Toolbox for MATLAB, including tools for connecting the chloroplast model to a genome-scale metabolic reconstruction in need of a chloroplast, for switching the model between running in different organism modes, and for expanding it by introducing more reactions either related to one of the current organisms included in the model, or to a new organism.