In silico, in vitro, and in vivo machine learning in synthetic biology and metabolic engineering

Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2021 Dec:65:85-92. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2021.06.002. Epub 2021 Jul 16.


Among the main learning methods reviewed in this study and used in synthetic biology and metabolic engineering are supervised learning, reinforcement and active learning, and in vitro or in vivo learning. In the context of biosynthesis, supervised machine learning is being exploited to predict biological sequence activities, predict structures and engineer sequences, and optimize culture conditions. Active and reinforcement learning methods use training sets acquired through an iterative process generally involving experimental measurements. They are applied to design, engineer, and optimize metabolic pathways and bioprocesses. The nascent but promising developments with in vitro and in vivo learning comprise molecular circuits performing simple tasks such as pattern recognition and classification.

Keywords: Active learning; Artificial neural networks; Machine learning; Metabolic engineering; Perceptron; Reinforcement learning; Synthetic biology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Machine Learning
  • Metabolic Engineering*
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways
  • Synthetic Biology*