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Exhaustive analysis of a genotype space comprising 1015 central carbon metabolisms reveals an organization conducive to metabolic innovation


Hosseini, Sayed-Rzgar; Barve, Aditya; Wagner, Andreas (2015). Exhaustive analysis of a genotype space comprising 1015 central carbon metabolisms reveals an organization conducive to metabolic innovation. PLoS Computational Biology, 11(8):e1004329.

Abstract

All biological evolution takes place in a space of possible genotypes and their phenotypes. The structure of this space defines the evolutionary potential and limitations of an evolving system. Metabolism is one of the most ancient and fundamental evolving systems, sustaining life by extracting energy from extracellular nutrients. Here we study metabolism's potential for innovation by analyzing an exhaustive genotype-phenotype map for a space of 10(15) metabolisms that encodes all possible subsets of 51 reactions in central carbon metabolism. Using flux balance analysis, we predict the viability of these metabolisms on 10 different carbon sources which give rise to 1024 potential metabolic phenotypes. Although viable metabolisms with any one phenotype comprise a tiny fraction of genotype space, their absolute numbers exceed 10(9) for some phenotypes. Metabolisms with any one phenotype typically form a single network of genotypes that extends far or all the way through metabolic genotype space, where any two genotypes can be reached from each other through a series of single reaction changes. The minimal distance of genotype networks associated with different phenotypes is small, such that one can reach metabolisms with novel phenotypes--viable on new carbon sources--through one or few genotypic changes. Exceptions to these principles exist for those metabolisms whose complexity (number of reactions) is close to the minimum needed for viability. Increasing metabolic complexity enhances the potential for both evolutionary conservation and evolutionary innovation.

Abstract

All biological evolution takes place in a space of possible genotypes and their phenotypes. The structure of this space defines the evolutionary potential and limitations of an evolving system. Metabolism is one of the most ancient and fundamental evolving systems, sustaining life by extracting energy from extracellular nutrients. Here we study metabolism's potential for innovation by analyzing an exhaustive genotype-phenotype map for a space of 10(15) metabolisms that encodes all possible subsets of 51 reactions in central carbon metabolism. Using flux balance analysis, we predict the viability of these metabolisms on 10 different carbon sources which give rise to 1024 potential metabolic phenotypes. Although viable metabolisms with any one phenotype comprise a tiny fraction of genotype space, their absolute numbers exceed 10(9) for some phenotypes. Metabolisms with any one phenotype typically form a single network of genotypes that extends far or all the way through metabolic genotype space, where any two genotypes can be reached from each other through a series of single reaction changes. The minimal distance of genotype networks associated with different phenotypes is small, such that one can reach metabolisms with novel phenotypes--viable on new carbon sources--through one or few genotypic changes. Exceptions to these principles exist for those metabolisms whose complexity (number of reactions) is close to the minimum needed for viability. Increasing metabolic complexity enhances the potential for both evolutionary conservation and evolutionary innovation.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:11 Feb 2016 09:44
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 20:01
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1553-734X
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004329
PubMed ID:26252881

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