Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 29222754
Link to DOI – 10.1007/978-1-4939-7528-0_8
Methods Mol Biol 2018 ; 1716(): 177-196
Intraspecific genomic exchanges happen frequently between bacteria living in the same natural environment and can also be performed artificially in the laboratory for basic research or genetic/metabolic engineering purposes. In silico metabolic reconstruction and simulation of the metabolism of the hybrid strains that result from these processes can be used to predict the phenotypic outcome of such genomic rearrangements; this can be especially helpful as a designing tool in the purview of synthetic biology. However, reconstructing the metabolism of a bacterium with a hybrid genome through in silico approaches is not a trivial task, as it requires taking into account the complex relationships existing between metabolic genes and how they change (or remain unchanged) when new genes are placed in a different genomic context. Furthermore, in order to “mix” the metabolic models of different bacterial strains one needs at least two different metabolic models to begin with, and reconstructing a genome-scale model from the ground up is a challenging task itself, requiring an intensive manual effort and a great deal of information. In this chapter, we propose two general protocols to address the aforementioned issues of: (1) quickly generating strain-specific metabolic models, given the relevant genomic sequence and an already existing, high-quality metabolic model of a different strain belonging to the same species, and (2) reconstructing the metabolic model of a hybrid strain containing genomic elements from two different parental strains.