In silico analysis of Clostridium acetobutylicum ATCC 824 metabolic response to an external electron supply

Roberto Gallardo, Alejandro Acevedo, Julián Quintero, Ivan Paredes, Raúl Conejeros, Germán Aroca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The biological production of butanol has become an important research field and thanks to genome sequencing and annotation; genome-scale metabolic reconstructions have been developed for several Clostridium species. This work makes use of the iCAC490 model of Clostridium acetobutylicum ATCC 824 to analyze its metabolic capabilities and response to an external electron supply through a constraint-based approach using the Constraint-Based Reconstruction Analysis Toolbox. Several analyses were conducted, which included sensitivity, production envelope, and phenotypic phase planes. The model showed that the use of an external electron supply, which acts as co-reducing agent along with glucose-derived reducing power (electrofermentation), results in an increase in the butanol-specific productivity. However, a proportional increase in the butyrate uptake flux is required. Besides, the uptake of external butyrate leads to the coupling of butanol production and growth, which coincides with results reported in literature. Phenotypic phase planes showed that the reducing capacity becomes more limiting for growth at high butyrate uptake fluxes. An electron uptake flux allows the metabolism to reach the growth optimality line. Although the maximum butanol flux does not coincide with the growth optimality line, a butyrate uptake combined with an electron uptake flux would result in an increased butanol volumetric productivity, being a potential strategy to optimize the production of butanol by C. acetobutylicum ATCC 824.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-305
Number of pages11
JournalBioprocess and Biosystems Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016


  • Available reducing capacity
  • Butanol
  • Clostridium acetobutylicum
  • Electron supply
  • Flux balance analysis


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