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Analysis and synthesis in metabolic engineering as advocated by systems biology. Associating global information from strains with little-known physiology or from model organisms leads to new discoveries while refining existing knowledge. Experimental validation of these inferences will guide the fundamental understanding of microbial physiology as well as strain design for a purposeful end. However, often the model predictions and preliminary hypothesis do not agree with experimental observations. Referring to the available literature, prior knowledge about basic biochemistry and metabolic pathways leads to modifying the hypothesis, possibly requiring further experimentation. Performing the association again under the modified framework of knowledge should correct any disparities between predictions and experiments. Such iterative procedures are rapidly gaining prominence in systems biology.

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