The OptFlux application includes a number of tools to support in silico metabolic engineering. The application allows the user to load a genome-scale model of a given organism. This will serve as the basis to simulate the wild type and mutants (original strain with a set of selected gene deletions).
The simulation of these strains will be conducted using a number of approaches (e.g. Flux-Balance Analysis, Minimization of Metabolic Adjustment or Regulatory On/Off Minimization of metabolic fluxes) that allow the set of fluxes in the organism’s metabolism to be determined, given a set of environmental constraints. The software also includes a number of optimization methods (e.g. Evolutionary Algorithms or Simulated Annealing) to reach the best set of gene deletions given an objective function, typically related with a given industrial goal. It also integrates visualization tools from the BioVisualizer application.
The OptFlux application is being developed taking as a basis the AIBench framework. This is an environment for the development of Data Mining/ Bioinformatics tools, using the Java programming language. The details of this project, a collaboration between the universities of Minho (Portugal) and Vigo (Spain), as well as updated documentation can be found at the web site.