Plant metabolites are characterized by an enormous chemical diversity, every plant having its own complex set of metabolites. This variety poses analytical challenges, both for profiling multiple metabolites in parallel and for the quantitative analysis of selected metabolites. We are only just starting to understand the roles of these metabolites, many of them being involved in adaptations to specific ecological niches and some finding beneficial use (e.g. as pharmaceuticals). Spectacular advances in plant metabolomics offer new possibilities, together with the aid of systems biology, to explore the extraordinary complexity of the plant biochemical capacity. State-of-the art genomics tools can be combined with metabolic profiling to identify key genes that could be engineered for the production of improved crop plants.
- plant metabolites