New organelle for storing ATP as glucose

Many of the prokayrotic “organelles” are actually just modeled after a single protein. We just for simplicity call all of the placeable things in the microbe editor organelles in contexts where it doesn’t matter. For example rusticyanin is an “organelle” available for prokaryotes in the game that is just named after a single protein.

Yeap haha I kinda noticed that, also Metabolosomes, which may sound really unfamiliar and exotic to a player without a lot of background in biology but it just means “Enzymes that metabolize” haha.

1 Like

If we are to add something like this, I feel it would be better implemented as an upgrade to present parts instead of a standalone organelle of it’s own. Mostly because there’s just not any organelles that solely specialize in synthesizing sugars. Typically sugar synthesis is performed at the site of energy production, that is, within the same organelle that collects the energy to begin with. I might be wrong though.

Whatever the case, I have some reservations about allowing all parts to ultimately produce glucose, as it might make all the metabolism set ups ultimately feel “samey”, with all of them coalescing into the same “collect material to build up glucose stores, and mitochondria to burn them” niche that chemosynthesis currently occupies.
It’s been intended that each form of diet be quite different from each other gameplay-wise to keep things interesting, and the game much more replayable. This change might undo that for better and for worse. It would probably be fine as an upgrade to thermosynthesis post-overhaul though.

Edit: I didn’t mean for that to come out so harshly, I just want yall to consider the ramifications of implementing this feature.

I think it would be a worse option to implement this as an upgrade for two reasons:

  • Either basically all energy producing organelles will need to have the same upgrade option
  • Or we’ll still get complaints from players that their favourite playstyle cannot store energy and thus need to be constantly producing it to stay alive

Implementing this as a separate organelle is, I think the best option because that precisely avoids the situation where one specific playstyle is unsupported.

Well, I couldn’t find any major differences between gluconeogenesis in eukaryotes and prokaryotes so this process does arise naturally from Glycolysis (EM pathway) and it is pretty much self-regulated.

Although, there is actually a pretty famous pathway called Cori cycle (Cori cycle - Wikipedia) where the lactate is regenerated into glucose via gluconeogenesis, so if this organelle needs a name it could be something like:



Cori complex

again, take in mind this pathway converts almost exclusively glycolytic metabolites to glucose. The glyoxylate cycle (Glyoxylate cycle - Wikipedia) is much more flexible though much more unusual in nature, but it can convert practically any 2C organic compound into glucose, just in case you are looking for something a little bit more exotic and (as this pathway happens as an alternative of the TCA/Krebs cycle) it would make complete scientific sense to have it just as an upgrade of mitocondrias (or metabolosomes).

Here’s a more advanced explanation of the gluconeogenesis pathway that I think might help

Is it not more interesting to have parts that require a different strategy? Iron chemolithoautotrophy currently requires a different setup to perform well, emphasizing storage capacity, which makes it an interesting alternative to the other diets. Introducing the ability to convert the product into glucose eliminates this unique aspect and cause the game to lose replayability. The different diets would just be flavor at that point.

I’m not against the idea of allowing other parts to produce glucose under certain circumstances, I just don’t want every part to become homogeneous Hence the upgrades style, unattractive as that may be.

I would much rather find a different solution to any problems with rustycyanin.

Well the 2 people who’ve bothered me about this topic over the past year or so, clearly seem to disagree.

This is not a feature I super want, so I’m fine with just leaving this discussion as is and seeing if this feature request is made again in the feature. Though we now know some potential scientific explanations we can use for this gameplay feature if/when we decide to implement this.

Alright after much deliberation, I’ve decided that I am okay with this going forward. The addition of this part will potentially make the game more approachable, and make the more alternative diets more feasible in later stages.

Players that prefer the more classic builds will always be free to continue doing so, assuming that the new part doesn’t end up much more appealing in the eyes of autoevo.

Sorry for jumping headfirst into the way of this originally…

Okay, so we can move forward with thinking about this some more.

Here’s basically what I think is required and is pretty much uncontroversial:

  • We need to add a new protein type organelle
  • The organelle needs a process that converts ATP to glucose but only if the ATP balance is currently good (maybe full on ATP for at least one second?), and glucose storage is not full (or maybe even like lower than 50%?)
  • The organelle needs to scale its speed to not cause ATP to drop which would immediately disengange it
  • Probably a good idea to do some tweaks to the ATP balance and compound balance displays to not make this organelle really confusing there.

Now that I list these out, this is definitely not a good first organelle for someone to implement as it needs quite elaborate new system features to allow it to work well.

What I’d still like to get some opinions on are:

  • What’s a good name? I saw someone in the community suggest RuBisCO as the name / thing this is based on

And I guess that is it, though once we’ve implemented this we’ll definitely need some balancing, and once again probably need to open another issue about eventually updating auto-evo to take this into account in its calculations somehow.

1 Like

I think something like a carbon-fixing protein might be accurate and similar in terms to the nitrogen fixing plastid. …Though that might also be somewhat problematic and confuse players with similar names.

Mentioning RuBisco is important as an explanation, and it’s also pretty distinct from the others so it will be easily recognized once players learn what it does. My concern is that it would not quite fit into the naming scheme of the other parts. It’s also worth noting that the other part names convey an unspoken possibility of “alternative chemistry” where as RuBisco is a very specific protein rather than a generalized concept.

Well carbon fixing is going to be incorrect anyway to use when someone eventually wants to put silicon based life into the game…

Wikipedia says that RuBisCO is the first step in binding carbon into energy rich molecules, so it is already pretty general.

Rusticyanin is named after a a specific protein. I don’t see a problem from that viewpoint on naming something RuBisCO. If we use the pattern “x-fixing protein” too much that’ll make really boring and easy to confuse names. So I’m personally in favour of naming it RuBisCo.

Seeing as no one reacted to me trying to get people to talk about this anymore, I’ll consider this topic now decided and have opened the issue (task) for implementing this:

I decided to pick the name RuBisCo as it sounds good to me and would be nice to have another pretty dense scientific name in the organelles list.

There’s now also a separate graphics task open for making the visuals:


Hello, I have been a little bit busy lately and couldn’t respond earlier.

I do really hate to say this, knowing that you have already made your mind in this topis, but unfortunately RuBisCo is already being used in the game. RuBisCo is a carbon-fixing protein, this means that it uses the CO2 on the enviroment to generate Glucose/Glucolitic metabolites wasting ATP. In other words, the Calvin cycle - Wikipedia, which is indeed part of the photosynthesis so actually RuBisCo is already being “used” when the player gets the Thylakoid organelle (or the Chloroplast).

Whenever I have more time I’ll try to research more on this topic, though I really believe that Gluconeogenesis + the glucoxylate cycle is the only metabolic pathway that serves this purpose.

1 Like

I see, thanks for the reply, even if it is a bit late.

So that first one could be the process name the organelle will perform, but that still leaves the organelle itself without a proper name.

Yeah, I’ll try to come up with a name for this, though I should say that the gluconeogenesis pathway has quite a lot of enzymes.

One important enzyme, that in my opinion has a pretty player friendly name is Glucose 6-phosphatase - Wikipedia it converts Glucose-6P into simple Glucose (which is the last step of Gluconeogenesis - Wikipedia).


I guess if no one has any better names the organelle will need to be called “Glucose phosphatase” (maybe stylized as Glucose-phosphatase). To make the name look a bit more like the ones we already have I dropped the “6-” part of the name. That should be fine, right, as a slightly less specific name?
And the process can be Gluconeogenesis, which is a good name in my opinion so no alternative name would need to be come up for that

1 Like

I’ve updated the issues on Github to reflect the new name. All that’s left next is for some programmer to implement this (the graphics assets were done already).

Sorry for replying so late, I’ve been very busy with academia lately :sweat:

From the sciency point of view it’s perfect :slight_smile:

There are some other secondary processes that arise from ultimately the usage of Glucose6phosphate which includes some other hexose-n-phosphate (Gal1P Glu1P Fruc1P) so yeap the 6 is not important in anyway for the given context.

I’ll try to keep up with the other topics tho right now I don’t have as much free time as I would like :sweat_smile:

1 Like

I thought some more about the implementation side of this and started wondering: How do you prevent glucose being turned into glucose in an endless cycle, wasting energy? I don’t think the current plan quite prevents that. Imagine being a cell that can use both iron and glucose for energy but has an empty iron storage for instance. Then the organelle would often have no option but to convert glucose into glucose.

From my understanding, the point of the new organelle is to only turn non-glucose energy sources into glucose. So how about we make Glucose Phosphatase care about how much ATP you can actually currently generate from non-glucose sources? Maybe you can calculate that ability somewhere and then scale the gluconeogenesis process based on that.

The details can probably be figured out while actually implementing the organelle, but I think taking the source of the ATP into account would help avoid wasting energy turning glucose into glucose, which could make the organelle more useful and intuitive.

I was hoping that we could avoid such a specific check there. As that kind of code would be really tied into the exact process. With my idea about just using being full on ATP to control the process, it should have been possible to make things a bit more general. I guess we’ll just have to see when concrete implementation for this is started to what the end result is and whether this more advanced way to control the gluconeogenesis process is needed.

1 Like