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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 518743, 14 pages
Research Article

Elementary Mode Analysis for the Rational Design of Efficient Succinate Conversion from Glycerol by Escherichia coli

1Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2Department of Chemical Engineering, Institute of Applied Chemistry, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China

Received 2 December 2009; Revised 20 May 2010; Accepted 7 July 2010

Academic Editor: Jennifer Reed

Copyright © 2010 Zhen Chen et al. 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.


By integrating the restriction of oxygen and redox sensing/regulatory system, elementary mode analysis was used to predict the metabolic potential of glycerol for succinate production by E. coli under either anaerobic or aerobic conditions. It was found that although the theoretical maximum succinate yields under both anaerobic and aerobic conditions are 1.0 mol/mol glycerol, the aerobic condition was considered to be more favorable for succinate production. Although increase of the oxygen concentration would reduce the succinate yield, the calculation suggests that controlling the molar fraction of oxygen to be under 0.65 mol/mol would be beneficial for increasing the succinate productivity. Based on the elementary mode analysis, the rational genetic modification strategies for efficient succinate production under aerobic and anaerobic conditions were obtained, respectively. Overexpressing the phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase or heterogonous pyruvate carboxylase is considered to be the most efficient strategy to increase the succinate yield.