Methanosarcina acetivorans, with a genome size of ~5.7mb, is the largest sequenced archaeon methanogen. Methanogens are ancient organisms whose role have been suggested in early evolution of life and also, are key players in the carbon cycle accounting for about 70% of the annual biological methane production. We used a modified version of the computational procedures previously developed in our lab to reconstruct a genome-scale metabolic model for M. acetivorans. This procedure included previously developed computational tools developed to correct growth prediction inconsistencies with in vivo data set and rectify topological inconsistencies in the model. The generated model has 941 genes, 705 reactions and 708 metabolites. The model exhibits 93% agreement with in vivo growth data across different substrates and multiple gene deletions. Model comparisons also compared well with known bioenergetics of M. acetivorans across different substrates. Specifically, the model predicts the indispensability of flux through methanogenesis for growth on acetate and methanol and also the unique biochemical characteristics that the organism displays when it grows on carbon monoxide. Given the size of the genome of the organism and a plethora of unique biochemical characterstics that are captured by the model, iVS941 represents the most comprehensive effort to document archaeal and methanogenic metabolism.
Kumar, V.S., J.G. Ferry and C.D. Maranas (2011), "Metabolic reconstruction of the archaeon methanogen Methanosarcina Acetivorans," BMC Systems Biology, 28.
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