The role of cellular objectives and selective pressures in metabolic pathway evolution.

TitleThe role of cellular objectives and selective pressures in metabolic pathway evolution.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsNam H, Conrad TM, Lewis NE
JournalCurr Opin Biotechnol
Volume22
Issue4
Pagination595-600
PubMed Date2011-4-13
ISSN1879-0429
KeywordsBacteria, Biological Evolution, Evolution, Molecular, Metabolic Networks and Pathways, Phenotype
Abstract

Evolution results from molecular-level changes in an organism, thereby producing novel phenotypes and, eventually novel species. However, changes in a single gene can lead to significant changes in biomolecular networks through the gain and loss of many molecular interactions. Thus, significant insights into microbial evolution have been gained through the analysis and comparison of reconstructed metabolic networks. However, challenges remain from reconstruction incompleteness and the inability to experiment with evolution on the timescale necessary for new species to arise. Despite these challenges, experimental laboratory evolution of microbes has provided some insights into the cellular objectives underlying evolution, under the constraints of nutrient availability and the use of mechanisms that protect cells from extreme conditions.

Alternate JournalCurr. Opin. Biotechnol.
PubMed ID21481583

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