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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 615697, 6 pages
Research Article

Studying the Relationship between Robustness against Mutations in Metabolic Networks and Lifestyle of Organisms

1Department of Biotechnology, College of Science, University of Tehran, Tehran 1417614411, Iran
2School of Computer Science, Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences (IPM), P.O. Box 19395-5746, Tehran, Iran
3Department of Biology, Faculty of Natural Science, University of Tabriz, Tabriz 5166616471, Iran

Received 14 August 2013; Accepted 26 September 2013

Academic Editors: A.-J. Van Dijk and C. M. Zmasek

Copyright © 2013 Sayed-Amir Marashi 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.


Robustness is the key feature of biological networks that enables living organisms to keep their homeostatic state and to survive against external and internal perturbations. Variations in environmental conditions or nutrients and intracellular changes such as genetic mutations have the potential to change stability and efficiency of an organism. Structural robustness helps biological systems to choose alternative routes of adaptation to varying conditions. In this study, in order to estimate the structural robustness in metabolic networks we presented a novel flux balance-based approach inspired by bond percolation theory. Fourteen in silico metabolic models were studied in this work in order to examine the possible relationship between the lifestyle of organisms and their metabolic robustness. The results of this study confirm that in organisms which are highly adapted to their environment robustness to mutations may decrease compared to other organisms.