Next Article in Journal
Biotechnological Screening of Microalgal and Cyanobacterial Strains for Biogas Production and Antibacterial and Antifungal Effects
Next Article in Special Issue
Reliable Metabolic Flux Estimation in Escherichia coli Central Carbon Metabolism Using Intracellular Free Amino Acids
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
MALDI Mass Spectrometry Imaging for Visualizing In Situ Metabolism of Endogenous Metabolites and Dietary Phytochemicals
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Metabolites 2014, 4(2), 347-372; doi:10.3390/metabo4020347

Fast “Feast/Famine” Cycles for Studying Microbial Physiology Under Dynamic Conditions: A Case Study with Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Department of Biotechnology, Delft University of Technology, Julianalaan 67, 2628 BC Delft, The Netherlands
Kluyver Center for Genomics of Industrial Fermentation, P.O. Box 5057, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands
Present address: Department of Biological Engineering, University of Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 March 2014 / Revised: 1 May 2014 / Accepted: 6 May 2014 / Published: 15 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolomics and Biotechnology)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [418 KB, uploaded 15 May 2014]   |  


Microorganisms are constantly exposed to rapidly changing conditions, under natural as well as industrial production scale environments, especially due to large-scale substrate mixing limitations. In this work, we present an experimental approach based on a dynamic feast/famine regime (400 s) that leads to repetitive cycles with moderate changes in substrate availability in an aerobic glucose cultivation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. After a few cycles, the feast/famine produced a stable and repetitive pattern with a reproducible metabolic response in time, thus providing a robust platform for studying the microorganism’s physiology under dynamic conditions. We found that the biomass yield was slightly reduced (−5%) under the feast/famine regime, while the averaged substrate and oxygen consumption as well as the carbon dioxide production rates were comparable. The dynamic response of the intracellular metabolites showed specific differences in comparison to other dynamic experiments (especially stimulus-response experiments, SRE). Remarkably, the frequently reported ATP paradox observed in single pulse experiments was not present during the repetitive perturbations applied here. We found that intracellular dynamic accumulations led to an uncoupling of the substrate uptake rate (up to 9-fold change at 20 s.) Moreover, the dynamic profiles of the intracellular metabolites obtained with the feast/famine suggest the presence of regulatory mechanisms that resulted in a delayed response. With the feast famine setup many cellular states can be measured at high frequency given the feature of reproducible cycles. The feast/famine regime is thus a versatile platform for systems biology approaches, which can help us to identify and investigate metabolite regulations under realistic conditions (e.g., large-scale bioreactors or natural environments). View Full-Text
Keywords: feast/famine perturbation; yeast cultivation; dynamic metabolic response; ATP paradox; in vivo kinetics feast/famine perturbation; yeast cultivation; dynamic metabolic response; ATP paradox; in vivo kinetics

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Suarez-Mendez, C.A.; Sousa, A.; Heijnen, J.J.; Wahl, A. Fast “Feast/Famine” Cycles for Studying Microbial Physiology Under Dynamic Conditions: A Case Study with Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Metabolites 2014, 4, 347-372.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Metabolites EISSN 2218-1989 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top