Model-assisted identification of metabolic engineering strategies for Jatropha curcas lipid pathways

Sandra M. Correa, Saleh Alseekh, Lucía Atehortúa, Yariv Brotman, Rigoberto Ríos-Estepa, Alisdair R. Fernie, Zoran Nikoloski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Efficient approaches to increase plant lipid production are necessary to meet current industrial demands for this important resource. While Jatropha curcas cell culture can be used for in vitro lipid production, scaling up the system for industrial applications requires an understanding of how growth conditions affect lipid metabolism and yield. Here we present a bottom-up metabolic reconstruction of J. curcas supported with labeling experiments and biomass characterization under three growth conditions. We show that the metabolic model can accurately predict growth and distribution of fluxes in cell cultures and use these findings to pinpoint energy expenditures that affect lipid biosynthesis and metabolism. In addition, by using constraint-based modeling approaches we identify network reactions whose joint manipulation optimizes lipid production. The proposed model and computational analyses provide a stepping stone for future rational optimization of other agronomically relevant traits in J. curcas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-95
Number of pages20
JournalPlant Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2020


  • Jatropha curcas
  • cell cultures
  • constrained-based analysis
  • lipid biosynthesis and metabolism
  • metabolic engineering
  • metabolic reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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