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Thermodynamics of microbial growth and metabolism: An analysis of the current situation

Paper ID Volume ID Publish Year Pages File Format Full-Text
25819 43603 2006 17 PDF Available
Title
Thermodynamics of microbial growth and metabolism: An analysis of the current situation
Abstract

This paper attempts to review in how far thermodynamic analysis can be used to understand and predict the performance of microorganisms with respect to growth and bioproduct synthesis. In the first part, a simple thermodynamic model of microbial growth is developed which explains the relationship between the driving force for growth in terms of Gibbs energy dissipation and biomass yield. From the currently available literature, it appears that the Gibbs energy dissipation per C-mol of biomass grown, which represents the driving force for chemotrophic growth, may have been adapted by evolutionary processes to strike a reasonable compromise between metabolic rate and growth efficiency. Based on empirical correlations of the C-molar Gibbs energy dissipation, the wide variety of biomass yields observed in nature can be explained and roughly predicted. This type of analysis may be highly useful in environmental applications, where such wide variations occur. It is however not able to predict biomass yields in very complex systems such as mammalian cells nor is it able to predict or to assess bioproduct or recombinant protein yields. For this purpose, a much more sophisticated treatment that accounts for individual metabolic pathways separately is required. Based on glycolysis as a test example, it is shown in the last part that simple thermodynamic analysis leads to erroneous conclusions even in well-known, simple cases. Potential sources for errors have been analyzed and can be used to identify the most important needs for future research.

Keywords
Thermodynamics; Microbial growth; Metabolism
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Thermodynamics of microbial growth and metabolism: An analysis of the current situation
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Publisher
Database: Elsevier - ScienceDirect
Journal: Journal of Biotechnology - Volume 121, Issue 4, 24 February 2006, Pages 517–533
Authors
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Subjects
Physical Sciences and Engineering Chemical Engineering Bioengineering
Get Full-Text Now
Don't Miss Today's Special Offer
Price was $35.95
You save - $31
Price after discount Only $4.95
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Full-text PDF Download
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