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Processes 2017, 5(2), 32; doi:10.3390/pr5020032

Stoichiometric Network Analysis of Cyanobacterial Acclimation to Photosynthesis-Associated Stresses Identifies Heterotrophic Niches

1
Microbiology and Immunology, Center for Biofilm Engineering, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717, USA
2
Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99352, USA
3
Chemical and Biological Engineering, Center for Biofilm Engineering, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Michael Henson
Received: 19 April 2017 / Revised: 9 June 2017 / Accepted: 14 June 2017 / Published: 19 June 2017
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Abstract

Metabolic acclimation to photosynthesis-associated stresses was examined in the thermophilic cyanobacterium Thermosynechococcus elongatus BP-1 using integrated computational and photobioreactor analyses. A genome-enabled metabolic model, complete with measured biomass composition, was analyzed using ecological resource allocation theory to predict and interpret metabolic acclimation to irradiance, O2, and nutrient stresses. Reduced growth efficiency, shifts in photosystem utilization, changes in photorespiration strategies, and differing byproduct secretion patterns were predicted to occur along culturing stress gradients. These predictions were compared with photobioreactor physiological data and previously published transcriptomic data and found to be highly consistent with observations, providing a systems-based rationale for the culture phenotypes. The analysis also indicated that cyanobacterial stress acclimation strategies created niches for heterotrophic organisms and that heterotrophic activity could enhance cyanobacterial stress tolerance by removing inhibitory metabolic byproducts. This study provides mechanistic insight into stress acclimation strategies in photoautotrophs and establishes a framework for predicting, designing, and engineering both axenic and photoautotrophic-heterotrophic systems as a function of controllable parameters. View Full-Text
Keywords: cross-feeding; cyanobacteria; elementary flux mode analysis; irradiance; resource allocation; RuBisCO; stress acclimation cross-feeding; cyanobacteria; elementary flux mode analysis; irradiance; resource allocation; RuBisCO; stress acclimation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Beck, A.E.; Bernstein, H.C.; Carlson, R.P. Stoichiometric Network Analysis of Cyanobacterial Acclimation to Photosynthesis-Associated Stresses Identifies Heterotrophic Niches. Processes 2017, 5, 32.

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