Overall, the goal of the model'Ng segment of our project was to lay down the groundwork for future optimization of the saffron-producing pathway and to also determine the effectiveness of our own growth conditions. Our modeling project was broken into three sections:

1) A genome-scale flux balance analysis model to predict the optimal conditions for the production of our compounds of interest

2) An analysis of the growth rate of our wild-type strain of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803

3) An analysis of the growth information to determine the carbon flux into our wild type Synechocystis

Flux balance analysis models are a mathematical representation of the metabolic network of an organism. Specifically, a stoichiometric matrix is constructed with all the known metabolic reactions in the cell. Constraints are applied to the model with flux balance and experimentally gathered data. Flux balance ensures that the total amount of any compound produced is equal to the total amount consumed at steady state. Optimizing the model for the growth rate or production of a metabolite of interest creates a solution space from which the optimal solution can be determined.1 More detailed information can be found in the Flux Balance Analysis section.