Flux Sampling in Genome-scale Metabolic Modeling of Microbial Communities

Read the full article See related articles

Listed in

This article is not in any list yet, why not add it to one of your lists.
Log in to save this article



Microbial communities play a crucial role in ecosystem function through metabolic interactions. Genome-scale modeling is a promising method to understand these interactions. Flux balance analysis (FBA) is most often used to predict the flux through all reactions in a genome-scale model. However, the fluxes predicted by FBA depend on a user-defined cellular objective. Flux sampling is an alternative to FBA, as it provides the range of fluxes possible within a microbial community. Furthermore, flux sampling may capture additional heterogeneity across cells, especially when cells exhibit sub-maximal growth rates. In this study, we simulate the metabolism of microbial communities and compare the metabolic characteristics found with FBA and flux sampling. We find significant differences in the predicted metabolism with sampling, including increased cooperative interactions and pathway-specific changes in predicted flux. Our results suggest the importance of sampling-based and objective function-independent approaches to evaluate metabolic interactions and emphasize their utility in quantitatively studying interactions between cells and organisms.

Article activity feed