Getting to grips with the plant metabolic network.
Sweetlove LJ., Fell D., Fernie AR.
Research into plant metabolism has a long history, and analytical approaches of ever-increasing breadth and sophistication have been brought to bear. We now have access to vast repositories of data concerning enzymology and regulatory features of enzymes, as well as large-scale datasets containing profiling information of transcripts, protein and metabolite levels. Nevertheless, despite this wealth of data, we remain some way off from being able to rationally engineer plant metabolism or even to predict metabolic responses. Within the past 18 months, rapid progress has been made, with several highly informative plant network interrogations being discussed in the literature. In the present review we will appraise the current state of the art regarding plant metabolic network analysis and attempt to outline what the necessary steps are in order to further our understanding of network regulation.