Metabolic modeling of energy balances in Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae shows that pyruvate addition increases growth rate

Tjerko Kamminga, Simen Jan Slagman, Jetta J.E. Bijlsma, Vitor A.P. Martins dos Santos, Maria Suarez-Diez, Peter J. Schaap*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae is cultured on large-scale to produce antigen for inactivated whole-cell vaccines against respiratory disease in pigs. However, the fastidious nutrient requirements of this minimal bacterium and the low growth rate make it challenging to reach sufficient biomass yield for antigen production. In this study, we sequenced the genome of M. hyopneumoniae strain 11 and constructed a high quality constraint-based genome-scale metabolic model of 284 chemical reactions and 298 metabolites. We validated the model with time-series data of duplicate fermentation cultures to aim for an integrated model describing the dynamic profiles measured in fermentations. The model predicted that 84% of cellular energy in a standard M. hyopneumoniae cultivation was used for non-growth associated maintenance and only 16% of cellular energy was used for growth and growth associated maintenance. Following a cycle of model-driven experimentation in dedicated fermentation experiments, we were able to increase the fraction of cellular energy used for growth through pyruvate addition to the medium. This increase in turn led to an increase in growth rate and a 2.3 times increase in the total biomass concentration reached after 3-4 days of fermentation, enhancing the productivity of the overall process. The model presented provides a solid basis to understand and further improve M. hyopneumoniae fermentation processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2339-2347
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Constraint-based metabolic modeling
  • Energy balances
  • Metabolic networks
  • Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae
  • Process optimization


Dive into the research topics of 'Metabolic modeling of energy balances in Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae shows that pyruvate addition increases growth rate'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this