Biotechnology progress

Flux balance analysis in the production of clavulanic acid by Streptomyces clavuligerus.

PMID 26171767


In this work, in silico flux balance analysis is used for predicting the metabolic behavior of Streptomyces clavuligerus during clavulanic acid production. To choose the best objective function for use in the analysis, three different optimization problems are evaluated inside the flux balance analysis formulation: (i) maximization of the specific growth rate, (ii) maximization of the ATP yield, and (iii) maximization of clavulanic acid production. Maximization of ATP yield showed the best predictions for the cellular behavior. Therefore, flux balance analysis using ATP as objective function was used for analyzing different scenarios of nutrient limitations toward establishing the effect of limiting the carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous, and oxygen sources on the growth and clavulanic acid production rates. Obtained results showed that ammonia and phosphate limitations are the ones most strongly affecting clavulanic acid biosynthesis. Furthermore, it was possible to identify the ornithine flux from the urea cycle and the α-ketoglutarate flux from the TCA cycle as the most determinant internal fluxes for promoting clavulanic acid production.