Over the past decades, our understanding of microbial metabolism has increased dramatically. Metabolomics, a family of techniques that are used to measure the quantities of small molecules in biological samples, has been central to these efforts. Advances in analytical chemistry have made it possible to measure the relative and absolute concentrations of more and more compounds with increasing levels of certainty. In this review, we highlight how metabolomics has contributed to understanding microbial metabolism and in what ways it can still be deployed to expand our systematic understanding of metabolism. To that end, we explain how metabolomics was used to () characterize network topologies of metabolism and its regulation networks, () elucidate the control of metabolic function, and () understand the molecular basis of higher-order phenomena. We also discuss areas of inquiry where technological advances should continue to increase the impact of metabolomics, as well as areas where our understanding is bottlenecked by other factors such as the availability of statistical and modeling frameworks that can extract biological meaning from metabolomics data.

Expected final online publication date for the , Volume 53 is May 2024. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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