Modern plant metabolomics: advanced natural product gene discoveries, improved technologies, and future prospects
Covering: 2000 to 2014
Plant metabolomics has matured and modern plant metabolomics has accelerated gene discoveries and the elucidation of a variety of plant natural product biosynthetic pathways. This review covers the approximate period of 2000 to 2014, and highlights specific examples of the discovery and characterization of novel genes and enzymes associated with the biosynthesis of natural products such as flavonoids, glucosinolates, terpenoids, and alkaloids. Additional examples of the integration of metabolomics with genome-based functional characterizations of plant natural products that are important to modern pharmaceutical technology are also reviewed. This article also provides a substantial review of recent technical advances in mass spectrometry imaging, nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, integrated LC-MS-SPE-NMR for metabolite identifications, and X-ray crystallography of microgram quantities for structural determinations. The review closes with a discussion on the future prospects of metabolomics related to crop species and herbal medicine.