Topic 2: Non-stationary 13C-Metabolic flux analysis of non-model organisms.

Guide:  Prof. Pramod Wangikar.

13C-MFA helps quantify intracellular reaction rates by recursively fitting experimentally observed patterns of 13C isotope labeling of metabolites.  There are two broad categories of 13C-MFA: (i) Stationary 13C-MFA that requires metabolic and isotopic steady state and (ii) Non stationary 13C-MFA that makes the use of systems that are in metabolic steady state but in a state of transition in terms of isotope labeling.  Although experimentally and computationally more challenging, the non-stationary 13C-MFA is emerging as a preferred tool to probe cellular metabolism.  The method provides a better resolution of the reaction rates with the ability to map a much bigger part of the network.  In our group, we have developed a novel pipeline for the collection of labelling data for over 100 metabolites and fragments using LC/MS/MS.  While E coli and yeast are the conventional model organisms with several applications in biotechnology, a number of non-model organisms have emerged with novel applications.  The proposed work therefore involves improvement of this pipeline and 13C-MFA of non-model organisms such as cyanobacteria and methanotrophs.  The work will provide insights into (i) the overall energy efficiency of the metabolic network, (ii) flexibility at branch points in the network, and (iii) carbon overflow mechanism.  The work becomes a precursor for classical metabolic engineering.  The student will get an opportunity to perform both the computational and experimental aspects of the work.  

Project type:  Majorly experimental involving 13C labelling, LC/MS/MS analysis, data analysis, and modeling software.

Preferred candidate profile:  M Sc or B Tech in biotechnology, life sciences or chemical engineering.

This topic is open only for FA or TA candidates.

Proposing Faculty
Research Area
  • Biochemical Engineering
  • Biomolecular Engineering
  • Modelling
  • Systems Biology