Metabolic Models of Lactococcus lactis
Lactic acid bacteria have a long tradition in industrial fermentation, where they are used as starters in the manufacture of fermented foods and beverages, such as buttermilk, cheese, and yogurt, as well as sausages, bread, pickles, olives, and wine. In particular, Lactococcus lactis is widely used in the dairy industry for the production of cheese and buttermilk, mainly due to its capacity to convert about 95% of the milk sugar lactose to lactic acid. The low pH generated by this activity, as well as the action of other fermentation products, inhibits the spoilage and growth of pathogenic bacteria, and consequently extends the shelf-life of the fermented products. The relative simplicity of L. lactis metabolism that converts sugars to pyruvate and generates energy mainly through substrate level phosphorylation, together with a small genome with limited redundancy and a large number of applicable tools of molecular biology, make this organism a very attractive model for systems biological approaches and for the development of new methodologies of metabolic analysis, parameter estimation and optimization.
Selected Recent References:
 Voit, E.O., J.S. Almeida, S. Marino, R. Lall, G. Goel, A.R. Neves, and H. Santos. Regulation of Glycolysis in Lactococcus lactis: An Unfinished Systems Biological Case Study. IEE Proc. Systems Biol. 153, 286-298, 2006.
 Voit, E.O., A.R. Neves, and H. Santos. The Intricate Side of Systems Biology. PNAS 103(25), 9452-9457, 2006.
 Vilela, M., I-C.Chou, S. Vinga, A.T.R Vasconcelos, E.O. Voit, and J.S. Almeida: Parameter optimization in S-system models. BMC Systems Biol. 16; 2:35, 2008.
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