Honors College Thesis


Flux Balance Analysis of Synechocystis PCC 6803. Public Deposited

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  • In order to improve photosynthetic hydrogen production, initial work has begun on a flux balance analysis of Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803, a model H2-producing organism. The mathematical model developed includes reactions relevant to photoautotrophic growth: glycolysis, the tricarboxylic acid cycle, the Calvin cycle, the photosynthetic electron transport chain, the cyanobacterial carbon concentrating mechanism (CCM), and ancillary reactions. The base model is adapted to simulate four situations: WT Synechocystis in low and high carbon conditions; M55, a Synechocystis mutant lacking Type I NAD(P)H dehydrogenase, a key component of the CCM; and Mallomonas papillosa, an organism completely lacking a CCM. To explore their metabolic capabilities, these models are subjected to different stresses: increased energy drain with fixed solar input and increased solar input with fixed biomass production. These experiments reveal that energy overflow metabolism is closely related to the ratio of Photosystems I and II, and that this ratio is strongly affected by mass and energy conservation constraints. Conceivably, energy overflow could be controlled to increase hydrogen production.
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