Metabolomics for Plant Improvement: Status and Prospects.
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Post-genomics era has witnessed the development of cutting-edge technologies that have offered cost-efficient and high-throughput ways for molecular characterization of the function of a cell or organism. Large-scale metabolite profiling assays have allowed researchers to access the global data sets of metabolites and the corresponding metabolic pathways in an unprecedented way. Recent efforts in metabolomics have been directed to improve the quality along with a major focus on yield related traits. Importantly, an integration of metabolomics with other approaches such as quantitative genetics, transcriptomics and genetic modification has established its immense relevance to plant improvement. An effective combination of these modern approaches guides researchers to pinpoint the functional gene(s) and the characterization of massive metabolites, in order to prioritize the candidate genes for downstream analyses and ultimately, offering trait specific markers to improve commercially important traits. This in turn will improve the ability of a plant breeder by allowing him to make more informed decisions. Given this, the present review captures the significant leads gained in the past decade in the field of plant metabolomics accompanied by a brief discussion on the current contribution and the future scope of metabolomics to accelerate plant improvement
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