Biotechnological processes depend to a large extent on the productivity of the organisms used. Recent advances in systems biology and bioinformatics have made it possible to rigorously analyze the functioning of complex metabolic networks using first principles. Such analysis provides a valuable basis for the rational design of metabolic networks as genetic modifications can be predicted that push metabolic capabilities of cells to the theoretical limits. In this presentation we will demonstrate the use of Elementary Mode Analysis to identify all possible pathways that are embedded in a metabolic network and use this information to reduce the metabolic network to the most efficient operation. Several case studies related to biofuels production will show that this rational approach leads to highly productive organisms.
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