1932

Abstract

The remarkable diversity of specialized metabolites produced by plants has inspired several decades of research and nucleated a long list of theories to guide empirical ecological studies. However, analytical constraints and the lack of untargeted processing workflows have long precluded comprehensive metabolite profiling and, consequently, the collection of the critical currencies to test theory predictions for the ecological functions of plant metabolic diversity. Developments in mass spectrometry (MS) metabolomics have revolutionized the large-scale inventory and annotation of chemicals from biospecimens. Hence, the next generation of MS metabolomics propelled by new bioinformatics developments provides a long-awaited framework to revisit metabolism-centered ecological questions, much like the advances in next-generation sequencing of the last two decades impacted all research horizons in genomics. Here, we review advances in plant (computational) metabolomics to foster hypothesis formulation from complex metabolome data. Additionally, we reflect on how next-generation metabolomics could reinvigorate the testing of long-standing theories on plant metabolic diversity.

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2021-06-17
2024-06-24
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