Target identification for metabolic engineering,
In metabolic engineering by gene knockouts, one searches for genes controlling metabolic reactions that should be removed from a metabolic network in order to optimize the yield of a desired metabolite.
In a conservative way, this is done by undirected mutagenesis selection of the population with best efficiency.
Unrean et al. developed a simple algorithm to directly predict reaction targets, to save the high costs of this uncontrolled expensive process. It is based on elementary modes, undecomposable sequences of metabolite transformation flows in the network.
We substantially improved the algorithm and applied it to a network of Escherichia coli to show the improved results.