Essential genes on metabolic maps

Svetlana Gerdes, Robert Edwards, Michael Kubal, Michael Fonstein, Rick Stevens, Andrei Osterman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

102 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)448-456
Number of pages9
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes


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