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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(6), 1759;

Metabolomics in Plant Priming Research: The Way Forward?

Department of Biochemistry, Research Centre for Plant Metabolomics, University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park 2006, South Africa
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 May 2018 / Revised: 2 June 2018 / Accepted: 4 June 2018 / Published: 13 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Innate Immunity 2.0)
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A new era of plant biochemistry at the systems level is emerging, providing detailed descriptions of biochemical phenomena at the cellular and organismal level. This new era is marked by the advent of metabolomics—the qualitative and quantitative investigation of the entire metabolome (in a dynamic equilibrium) of a biological system. This field has developed as an indispensable methodological approach to study cellular biochemistry at a global level. For protection and survival in a constantly-changing environment, plants rely on a complex and multi-layered innate immune system. This involves surveillance of ‘self’ and ‘non-self,’ molecule-based systemic signalling and metabolic adaptations involving primary and secondary metabolites as well as epigenetic modulation mechanisms. Establishment of a pre-conditioned or primed state can sensitise or enhance aspects of innate immunity for faster and stronger responses. Comprehensive elucidation of the molecular and biochemical processes associated with the phenotypic defence state is vital for a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms that define the metabolism of plant–pathogen interactions. Such insights are essential for translational research and applications. Thus, this review highlights the prospects of metabolomics and addresses current challenges that hinder the realisation of the full potential of the field. Such limitations include partial coverage of the metabolome and maximising the value of metabolomics data (extraction of information and interpretation). Furthermore, the review points out key features that characterise both the plant innate immune system and enhancement of the latter, thus underlining insights from metabolomic studies in plant priming. Future perspectives in this inspiring area are included, with the aim of stimulating further studies leading to a better understanding of plant immunity at the metabolome level. View Full-Text
Keywords: metabolomics; plant defence; plant–microbe interactions; priming; pre-conditioning metabolomics; plant defence; plant–microbe interactions; priming; pre-conditioning

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Tugizimana, F.; Mhlongo, M.I.; Piater, L.A.; Dubery, I.A. Metabolomics in Plant Priming Research: The Way Forward? Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 1759.

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