Plant metabolomics in a nutshell: potential and future challenges

In just 10 years, plantmetabolomics has been transformed from a purely theoretical concept into a highly valued and widely exploited technology. Moving on from the many and wide-ranging hopes, enthused upon in a multitude of early reviews, metabolomics for plant research has already proved itself despite the technology still experiencing certain limitations. We have a long road to travel before we reach our desired destination – a very happy place where large-scale, (semi-) automated, unbiased multiplex analyses of plant materials, leading to exhaustive lists of named metabolites become possible. This biochemical Holy Grail will, by definition, never be reached. Nevertheless, continued advances in hardware, software and biostatistics are enabling us to generate ever-advancing, detailed insights into the chemical composition of plants and how this is influenced by genetical and environmental perturbation. There continues to be a major driving force behind further developments, spurred on by myriad existing and potentially new applications in both applied and fundamental plant science. It is no longer so much a case of hope springs eternal but rather, who dares wins!

R.D. Hall
Authors from the NMC: 
Publication data (text): 
The Biology of Plant Metabolomics (ed R.D. Hall)
Published in: 
Annual Plant Reviews Volume 43: Biology of Plant Metabolomics (ed R. D. Hall)
Date of publication: 
March, 2011
Status of the publication: 
Centre for BioSystems Genomics