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Introduction to Metabolomics

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In the plant kingdom alone, there are an estimated 200,000 metabolic products, all of which are controlled by both genetic and environmental factors. However, we are far from understanding the detailed regulation of the expression of these metabolites, let alone the extent to which metabolic plasticity plays in growth, reproduction and survival in natural environments. The understanding of such processes is essential for a range of current ecological and environmental topics, such as how climate change may affect metabolism and the resulting shifts in survival and plant distribution, and how we can mitigate the effects of climate change by exploiting metabolism to enhance the rate of accumulation or quality of lipids for biofuel production. I will present an introduction to metabolomics; the analytical equipment, statistical tools and online databases required to carry out and interpret metabolomic datasets. To illustrate the process I shall present data from my research on environmental metabolomics as well as new research on algal biofuels.

This talk is part of the Plant Sciences 'ABC' Seminars series.

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