Metabolomics Intervention Towards Better Understanding of Plant Traits
The majority of the most economically important plant and crop species are enriched with the availability of high-quality reference genome sequences forming the basis of gene discovery which control the important biochemical pathways. The transcriptomics and proteomics resources have also been made available for many of these plant species that intensify the understanding at expression levels. However, still we lack integrated studies spanning genomics–transcriptomics–proteomics, connected to metabolomics, the most complicated phase in phenotype expression. Nevertheless, for the past few decades, emphasis has been more on metabolome which plays a crucial role in defining the phenotype (trait) during crop improvement. The emergence of modern high throughput metabolome analyzing platforms have accelerated the discovery of a wide variety of biochemical types of metabolites and new pathways, also helped in improving the understanding of known existing pathways. Pinpointing the causal gene(s) and elucidation of metabolic pathways are very important for development of improved lines with high precision in crop breeding. Along with other-omics sciences, metabolomics studies have helped in characterization and annotation of a new gene(s) function. Hereby, we summarize several areas in the field of crop development where metabolomics studies have made its remarkable impact. We also assess the recent research on metabolomics, together with other omics, contributing toward genetic engineering to target traits and key pathway(s).