While there has been much study of bacterial gene dispensability, there is a lack of comprehensive genome-scale examinations of the impact of gene deletion on growth in different carbon sources. In this context, a lot can be learned from such experiments in the model microbe
Escherichia coliwhere much is already understood and there are existing tools for the investigation of carbon metabolism and physiology (1). Gene deletion studies have practical potential in the field of antibiotic drug discovery where there is emerging interest in bacterial central metabolism as a target for new antibiotics (2). Furthermore, some carbon utilization pathways have been shown to be critical for initiating and maintaining infection for certain pathogens and sites of infection (3–5). Here, with the use of high-throughput solid medium phenotyping methods, we have generated kinetic growth measurements for 3,796 genes under 30 different carbon source conditions. This data set provides a foundation for research that will improve our understanding of genes with unknown function, aid in predicting potential antibiotic targets, validate and advance metabolic models, and help to develop our understanding of E. colimetabolism.