Metabolic processes in plants are key components of physiological and biochemical disease resistance.Metabolomics, the analysis of a broad range of small molecule compounds in a biological system, has been used to provide a systems-wide overview of plant metabolism associated with defense responses. Plant immunity has been examined using multiple metabolomics workflows that vary in methods of detection, annotation, and interpretation, and the choice of workflow can significantly impact the conclusions inferred from a metabolomics investigation. The broad range of metabolites involved in plant defense often requires multiple chemical detection platforms and implementation of a non-targeted approach. A review of the current literature reveals a wide range of workflows that are currently used in plant metabolomics, and new methods for analyzing and reporting mass spectrometry (MS) data can improve the ability to translate investigative findings among different plant-pathogen systems.
The article, "Evaluating plant immunity using mass spectrometry-based metabolomics workflows," is published online in Frontiers in Plant Science and is free to access.