Over the last decade, metabolomics has continued to grow rapidly and is considered a dynamic technology in envisaging and elucidating complex phenotypes in systems biology area. The advantage of metabolomics compared to other omics technologies such as transcriptomics and proteomics is that these later omics only consider the intermediate steps in the central dogma pathway (mRNA and protein expression). Meanwhile, metabolomics reveals the downstream products of gene and expression of proteins. The most frequently used tools are nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and mass spectrometry (MS). Some of the common MS-based analyses are gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). These high-throughput instruments play an extremely crucial role in discovery metabolomics to generate data needed for further analysis. In this chapter, the concept of metabolomics in the context of systems biology is discussed and provides examples of its application in human disease studies, plant responses towards stress and abiotic resistance and also microbial metabolomics for biotechnology applications. Lastly, a few case studies of metabolomics analysis are also presented, for example, investigation of an aromatic herbal plant, Persicaria minor metabolome and microbial metabolomics for metabolic engineering applications.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.