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New Phytol. 2006;169(3):453-68.

Plant metabolomics: from holistic hope, to hype, to hot topic.

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1
Plant Research International, Business Unit Bioscience, PO Box 16, 6700 AA Wageningen, the Netherlands. robert.hall@wur.nl

Abstract

In a short time, plant metabolomics has gone from being just an ambitious concept to being a rapidly growing, valuable technology applied in the stride to gain a more global picture of the molecular organization of multicellular organisms. The combination of improved analytical capabilities with newly designed, dedicated statistical, bioinformatics and data mining strategies, is beginning to broaden the horizons of our understanding of how plants are organized and how metabolism is both controlled but highly flexible. Metabolomics is predicted to play a significant, if not indispensable role in bridging the phenotype-genotype gap and thus in assisting us in our desire for full genome sequence annotation as part of the quest to link gene to function. Plants are a fabulously rich source of diverse functional biochemicals and metabolomics is also already proving valuable in an applied context. By creating unique opportunities for us to interrogate plant systems and characterize their biochemical composition, metabolomics will greatly assist in identifying and defining much of the still unexploited biodiversity available today.

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