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Methods Mol Biol. 2013;1069:279-312. doi: 10.1007/978-1-62703-613-9_19.

Plant metabolomics: from experimental design to knowledge extraction.

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Metabolites Biology Lab, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore.


Metabolomics is one of the most recent additions to the functional genomics approaches. It involves the use of analytical chemistry techniques to provide high-density data of metabolic profiles. Data is then analyzed using advanced statistics and databases to extract biological information, thus providing the metabolic phenotype of an organism. Large variety of metabolites produced by plants through the complex metabolic networks and their dynamic changes in response to various perturbations can be studied using metabolomics. Here, we describe the basic features of plant metabolic diversity and analytical methods to describe this diversity, which includes experimental workflows starting from experimental design, sample preparation, hardware and software choices, combined with knowledge extraction methods. Finally, we describe a scenario for using these workflows to identify differential metabolites and their pathways from complex biological samples.

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