Microorganisms comprising modifications for producing pyruvate, ethanol, and other compounds. The microorganisms comprise modifications that reduce or ablate activity of one or more of pyruvate dehydrogenase, 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase, phosphate acetyltransferase, acetate kinase, pyruvate oxidase, lactate dehydrogenase, cytochrome terminal oxidase, succinate dehydrogenase, 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase, glutamate dehydrogenase, pyruvate formate lyase, pyruvate formate lyase activating enzyme, and isocitrate lyase. The microorganisms optionally comprise modifications that enhance expression or activity of pyruvate decarboxylase and alcohol dehydrogenase. The microorganisms are optionally evolved in defined media to enhance specific production of one or more compounds. Methods of producing compounds with the microorganisms are provided.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
 This invention was made with government support under DE-FC02-07ER64494, DE-SC0008103 awarded by the US Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.