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Unravelling Plant Responses to Stress—The Importance of Targeted and Untargeted Metabolomics

Abstract : Climate change and an increasing population, present a massive global challenge with respect to environmentally sustainable nutritious food production. Crop yield enhancements, through breeding, are decreasing, whilst agricultural intensification is constrained by emerging, re-emerging, and endemic pests and pathogens, accounting for ~30% of global crop losses, as well as mounting abiotic stress pressures, due to climate change. Metabolomics approaches have previously contributed to our knowledge within the fields of molecular plant pathology and plant-insect interactions. However, these remain incredibly challenging targets, due to the vast diversity in metabolite volatility and polarity, heterogeneous mixtures of pathogen and plant cells, as well as rapid rates of metabolite turn-over. Unravelling the systematic biochemical responses of plants to various individual and combined stresses, involves monitoring signaling compounds, secondary messengers, phytohormones, and defensive and protective chemicals. This demands both targeted and untargeted metabolomics approaches, as well as a range of enzymatic assays, protein assays, and proteomic and transcriptomic technologies. In this review, we focus upon the technical and biological challenges of measuring the metabolome associated with plant stress. We illustrate the challenges, with relevant examples from bacterial and fungal molecular pathologies, plant-insect interactions, and abiotic and combined stress in the environment. We also discuss future prospects from both the perspective of key innovative metabolomic technologies and their deployment in breeding for stress resistance.
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Contributor : Muriel Gauthier <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, August 31, 2021 - 12:07:05 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 1, 2021 - 3:29:22 AM


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James William Allwood, Alex Williams, Henriette Uthe, Nicole van Dam, Luis Mur, et al.. Unravelling Plant Responses to Stress—The Importance of Targeted and Untargeted Metabolomics. Metabolites, MDPI, 2021, 11 (8), pp.558. ⟨10.3390/metabo11080558⟩. ⟨hal-03329826⟩



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