Reconstructing a model of the metabolic network of an organism from its annotated genome sequence would seem, at first sight, to be one of the most straightforward tasks in functional genomics, even if the various data sources required were never designed with this application in mind. The number of genome-scale metabolic models is, however, lagging far behind the number of sequenced genomes and is likely to continue to do so unless the model-building process can be accelerated. Two aspects that could usefully be improved are the ability to find the sources of error in a nascent model rapidly, and the generation of tenable hypotheses concerning solutions that would improve a model. We will illustrate these issues with approaches we have developed in the course of building metabolic models of Streptococcus agalactiae and Arabidopsis thaliana.

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