Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 102, Issue 8, pp 3439–3451 | Cite as

Genome-scale biological models for industrial microbial systems

  • Nan Xu
  • Chao Ye
  • Liming LiuEmail author


The primary aims and challenges associated with microbial fermentation include achieving faster cell growth, higher productivity, and more robust production processes. Genome-scale biological models, predicting the formation of an interaction among genetic materials, enzymes, and metabolites, constitute a systematic and comprehensive platform to analyze and optimize the microbial growth and production of biological products. Genome-scale biological models can help optimize microbial growth-associated traits by simulating biomass formation, predicting growth rates, and identifying the requirements for cell growth. With regard to microbial product biosynthesis, genome-scale biological models can be used to design product biosynthetic pathways, accelerate production efficiency, and reduce metabolic side effects, leading to improved production performance. The present review discusses the development of microbial genome-scale biological models since their emergence and emphasizes their pertinent application in improving industrial microbial fermentation of biological products.


Genome-scale modeling Systematic metabolic engineering Cell growth Microbial biosynthesis 


Author contributions

N.X. and L.L. conceived the project. N.X. and C.Y. collected data. N.X., L.L., and C.Y. wrote the manuscript.

Funding information

This study was funded by the National Program for Support of Top-notch Young Professionals, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21422602), and the Postdoctoral Science Foundation of Jiang Su (1701140C).

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical statement

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Food Science and TechnologyJiangnan UniversityWuxiChina
  2. 2.College of Bioscience and BiotechnologyYangzhou UniversityYangzhouChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Industrial Biotechnology, Ministry of Education, School of BiotechnologyJiangnan UniversityWuxiChina
  4. 4.The Laboratory of Food Microbial-Manufacturing EngineeringJiangnan UniversityWuxiChina

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