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J Exp Bot. 2004 Aug;55(404):1861-70. Epub 2004 Jun 18.

Towards dissecting nutrient metabolism in plants: a systems biology case study on sulphur metabolism.

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Max-Planck-Institut für Molekulare Pflanzenphysiologie, Department of Molecular Physiology, Am Mühlenberg 1, D-14476 Golm, Germany.


A genomics analysis on sulphur metabolism has been conducted at the level of transcriptomics and metabolomics. The analysis of these data after applying bioinformatic tools is to reveal novel findings. The findings are discussed and the knowledge obtained from comparable analyses on sulphur metabolism and other plant nutrient genomic studies is reviewed. The analysis of the response of the transcriptome and metabolome to sulphur deprivation in the growth medium provides a tool set for the analysis of comparable genomics studies of other nutrients. The goal of this 'sulphobolomics' (i.e. sulphur genomics and metabolome analysis) approach, and of other investigations, is to describe in a holistic way the biochemical, molecular, and physiological response of a plant to nutrient starvation, here sulphate, or, more generally, to alterations and imbalances in nutrient availability. Eventually, this analysis will provide a case study for a systems biology approach.

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