CRISPRi screens reveal sources of metabolic robustness in E. coli

Metabolic robustness, the ability of a metabolic system to buffer changes in its environment, is not always a welcome feature for microbiologists: it interferes with metabolic engineering or prevents that antibiotics kill bacteria. Therefore it is important to understand the mechanisms that enable metabolic robustness. A massively parallel CRISPRi screen demonstrated that E. colimetabolism is very robust against knockdowns of enzymes, and multi-omics data revealed the mechanisms behind it. In the future, the researchers want to apply this knowledge to build better models of metabolism, which enable rational-design of industrial microbes.

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