Argonne National Laboratory

Essential Genes on Metabolic Maps

TitleEssential Genes on Metabolic Maps
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsGerdes, SY, Edwards, RA, Kubal, M, Fonstein, M, Stevens, RL, Osterman, AL
JournalCurr Opin Biotechnol
Date Published10/2006

Within the past five years genome-scale gene essentiality data sets have been published for ten diverse bacterial species. These data are a rich source of information about cellular networks that we are only beginning to explore. The analysis of these data, very heterogeneous in nature, is a challenging task. Even the definition of \'essential genes\' in various genome-scale studies varies from genes \'absolutely required for survival\' to those \'strongly contributing to fitness\' and robust competitive growth. A comparative analysis of gene essentiality across multiple organisms based on projection of experimentally observed essential genes to functional roles in a collection of metabolic pathways and subsystems is emerging as a powerful tool of systems biology.