Editor's Summary

17 December 2009

A broad view of microbial growth


This post-genomic era would have us think that elementary problems such as the biochemical control of bacterial growth are essentially solved once all the component parts of the system have been accounted for, yet current quantitative models are notoriously deficient outside very specific conditions. By systematically uncoupling extracellular glucose sensing from glucose transport, Hyun Youk and Alexander van Oudenaarden have now discovered that these two functions control yeast growth independently, sometimes with paradoxical interactions. This approach, reducing a complex metabolic network to one simple phenomenological equation with two main parameters, is reminiscent of methods used in physics and a new step in systems biology.

ArticleGrowth landscape formed by perception and import of glucose in yeast

Hyun Youk & Alexander van Oudenaarden

doi:10.1038/nature08653