Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 7, 2015
Previous Article Next Article

Metabolomics in chemical ecology

Author affiliations


Covering: up to December 2014

Chemical ecology elucidates the nature and role of natural products as mediators of organismal interactions. The emerging techniques that can be summarized under the concept of metabolomics provide new opportunities to study such environmentally relevant signaling molecules. Especially comparative tools in metabolomics enable the identification of compounds that are regulated during interaction situations and that might play a role as e.g. pheromones, allelochemicals or in induced and activated defenses. This approach helps overcoming limitations of traditional bioassay-guided structure elucidation approaches. But the power of metabolomics is not limited to the comparison of metabolic profiles of interacting partners. Especially the link to other –omics techniques helps to unravel not only the compounds in question but the entire biosynthetic and genetic re-wiring, required for an ecological response. This review comprehensively highlights successful applications of metabolomics in chemical ecology and discusses existing limitations of these novel techniques. It focuses on recent developments in comparative metabolomics and discusses the use of metabolomics in the systems biology of organismal interactions. It also outlines the potential of large metabolomics initiatives for model organisms in the field of chemical ecology.

Graphical abstract: Metabolomics in chemical ecology

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 07 Jan 2015 and first published on 30 Apr 2015

Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5NP00003C
Author version
Download author version (PDF)
Nat. Prod. Rep., 2015,32, 937-955
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
  •   Request permissions

    Metabolomics in chemical ecology

    C. Kuhlisch and G. Pohnert, Nat. Prod. Rep., 2015, 32, 937
    DOI: 10.1039/C5NP00003C

    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material.

    Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

    • For reproduction of material from NJC:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
      [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
    • For reproduction of material from PPS:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

    Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.

Search articles by author