Pathway Discovery

  • Pablo Carbonell
Part of the Learning Materials in Biosciences book series (LMB)


Pathway discovery is a prospective task that is part of the metabolic pathway design workflow. Using the tools that were described in previous chapters to model metabolic networks and chemical diversity, we can now start exploring the metabolic space for routes leading to the production of promising targets. Chemical targets of interest can be identified by performing techno-economic and life cycle analyses. A bioretrosynthesis analysis assesses the existence and feasibility of biosynthetic pathways connecting the target to the chassis. Generalized reaction rules in the bioretrosynthesis analysis can be applied in order to predict de novo or hypothetical routes based on enzyme promiscuity.


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Further Reading

  1. A framework for chemical target selection:Google Scholar
  2. Campodonico, M.A., Sukumara, S., Feist, A.M., Herrgård, M.J.: Computational methods to assess the production potential of bio-based chemicals. In: Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, NJ), vol. 1671, pp. 97–116 (2018)Google Scholar
  3. A more generic discussion about economic considerations for bioprocess commercialization:Google Scholar
  4. Wynn, J.P., Hanchar, R., Kleff, S., Senyk, D., Tiedje, T.: Biobased technology commercialization: the importance of lab to pilot scale-up. In: Metabolic Engineering for Bioprocess Commercialization, pp. 101–119. Springer International Publishing, Cham (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. A discussion about biocatalytic retrosynthesis:Google Scholar
  6. Green, A.P., Turner, N.J.: Biocatalytic retrosynthesis: redesigning synthetic routes to high-value chemicals. Perspect. Sci. 9, 42–48 (2016). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. A review about pathway design tools:Google Scholar
  8. Wang, L., Dash, S., Ng, C.Y., Maranas, C.D.: A review of computational tools for design and reconstruction of metabolic pathways. Synth. Syst. Biol. 2(4), 243–252 (2017)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pablo Carbonell
    • 1
  1. 1.Manchester Institute of BiotechnologyUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK

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