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Dynamic Flux Balance Analysis of the Metabolism of Microalgae under a Diurnal Light Cycle

Abstract : Microalgae have received much attention in the context of renewable fuel production, due to their ability to produce in high quantities carbon storage molecules such as lipids and carbohydrates. Despite significant research effort over the last decade, the production yields remain low and need to be optimized. For that, a thorough understanding of carbon storage metabolism is necessary. This paper develops a constrained metabolic model based on the dFBA framework to represent the dynamics of carbon storage in microalgae under a diurnal light cycle. The main assumption here is that microalgae adapt their metabolism in order to optimize their production of functional biomass (proteins, membrane lipids, DNA, RNA) over a diurnal cycle. A generic metabolic network comprised of 160 reactions representing the main carbon and nitrogen pathways of microalgae is used to characterize the metabolism. The optimization problem is simplified by exploiting the right kernel of the stoichiometric matrix, and transformed into a linear program by discretizing the differential equations using a classical collocation technique. Several constraints are investigated. The results suggest that the experimentally observed strategy of accumulation of carbon storage molecules during the day, followed by their depletion during the night may indeed be the optimal one. However, a constraint on the maximal synthesis rate of functional biomass must be added for consistency with the biological observations.
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Caroline Baroukh, Jean Philippe Steyer, Olvier Bernard, Benoit Chachuat. Dynamic Flux Balance Analysis of the Metabolism of Microalgae under a Diurnal Light Cycle. DYCOPS-CAB 2016 - 11th IFAC Symposium on Dynamics and Control of Process Systems, Including Biosystems DYCOPS-CAB 2016, International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC). AUT., Jun 2016, Trondheim, Norway. pp.791 - 796, ⟨10.1016/j.ifacol.2016.07.285⟩. ⟨hal-01413531⟩

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