Background: Industrial fermentation typically uses complex nitrogen substrates which consist of mixture of amino acids. The uptake of amino acids is known to be mediated by several amino acid transporters with certain preferences. However, models to predict this preferential uptake are not available. We present the stoichiometry for the utilization of amino acids as a sole carbon and nitrogen substrate or along with glucose as an additional carbon source. In the former case, the excess nitrogen provided by the amino acids is excreted by the organism in the form of ammonia. We have developed a cybernetic model to predict the sequence and kinetics of uptake of amino acids. The model is based on the assumption that the growth on a specific substrate is dependent on key enzyme(s) responsible for the uptake and assimilation of the substrates. These enzymes may be regulated by mechanisms of nitrogen catabolite repression. The model hypothesizes that the organism is an optimal strategist and invests resources for the uptake of a substrate that are proportional to the returns. Results: Stoichiometric coefficients and kinetic parameters of the model were estimated experimentally for Amycolatopsis mediterranei S699, a rifamycin B overproducer. The model was then used to predict the uptake kinetics in a medium containing cas amino acids. In contrast to the other amino acids, the uptake of proline was not affected by the carbon or nitrogen catabolite repression in this strain. The model accurately predicted simultaneous uptake of amino acids at low cas concentrations and sequential uptake at high cas concentrations. The simulated profile of the key enzymes implies the presence of specific transporters for small groups of amino acids. Conclusion: The work demonstrates utility of the cybernetic model in predicting the sequence and kinetics of amino acid uptake in a case study involving Amycolatopsis mediterranei, an industrially important organism. This work also throws some light on amino acid transporters and their regulation in A. mediterranei. Further, cybernetic model based experimental strategy unravels formation and utilization of ammonia as well as its inhibitory role during amino acid uptake. Our results have implications for model based optimization and monitoring of other industrial fermentation processes involving complex nitrogen substrate.