2016-12-26Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.3389/fbioe.2016.00095
Toward Multiscale Models of Cyanobacterial Growth
A Modular Approach
Oxygenic photosynthesis dominates global primary productivity ever since its evolution more than three billion years ago. While many aspects of phototrophic growth are well understood, it remains a considerable challenge to elucidate the manifold dependencies and interconnections between the diverse cellular processes that together facilitate the synthesis of new cells. Phototrophic growth involves the coordinated action of several layers of cellular functioning, ranging from the photosynthetic light reactions and the electron transport chain, to carbon-concentrating mechanisms and the assimilation of inorganic carbon. It requires the synthesis of new building blocks by cellular metabolism, protection against excessive light, as well as diurnal regulation by a circadian clock and the orchestration of gene expression and cell division. Computational modeling allows us to quantitatively describe these cellular functions and processes relevant for phototrophic growth. As yet, however, computational models are mostly confined to the inner workings of individual cellular processes, rather than describing the manifold interactions between them in the context of a living cell. Using cyanobacteria as model organisms, this contribution seeks to summarize existing computational models that are relevant to describe phototrophic growth and seeks to outline their interactions and dependencies. Our ultimate aim is to understand cellular functioning and growth as the outcome of a coordinated operation of diverse yet interconnected cellular processes.
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