Flux-balance modeling of plant metabolism.
Sweetlove LJ., Ratcliffe RG.
Flux-balance modeling of plant metabolic networks provides an important complement to (13)C-based metabolic flux analysis. Flux-balance modeling is a constraints-based approach in which steady-state fluxes in a metabolic network are predicted by using optimization algorithms within an experimentally bounded solution space. In the last 2 years several flux-balance models of plant metabolism have been published including genome-scale models of Arabidopsis metabolism. In this review we consider what has been learnt from these models. In addition, we consider the limitations of flux-balance modeling and identify the main challenges to generating improved and more detailed models of plant metabolism at tissue- and cell-specific scales. Finally we discuss the types of question that flux-balance modeling is well suited to address and its potential role in metabolic engineering and crop improvement.