Published July 1, 2024 | Version v2
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Optimal cell behavior in time

  • 1. Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
  • 2. Université Grenoble Alpes, Inria, France
  • 3. School of Informatics, The University of Edinburgh, EH8 9AB, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • 4. Department of unctional and Evolutionary Ecology, University of Vienna, 1030 Vienna, Austria
  • 5. MISTEA, Université Montpellier, INRAE, Institut Agro, Montpellier, France


This is a chapter from the free textbook "Economic Principles in Cell Biology"

Microorganisms live in continually changing environments, which require them to develop adaptation strategies. These strategies have been profitably studied under the assumption that microorganisms have evolved to optimize one or several aspects of their adaptive response. The mathematical formalization of this assumption leads to dynamic optimization problems that can be solved by means of techniques from optimal control theory. The chapter discusses three example problems: dynamic optimization of enzyme expression in metabolic pathways, dynamic optimization of coarse-grained models of cellular growth, and dynamic flux balance analysis. The results obtained for these problems illustrate the interest of studying adaptation strategies from the perspective of dynamic optimization, and the strengths and weaknesses of this approach.



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