High-throughput plant phenotyping : a role for metabolomics?

Hall, Robert D.; Auria, John C. D'; Silva Ferreira, Antonio C.; Gibon, Yves; Kruszka, Dariusz; Mishra, Puneet; Zedde, Rick van de


High-throughput (HTP) plant phenotyping approaches are developing rapidly and are already helping to bridge the genotype–phenotype gap. However, technologies should be developed beyond current physico-spectral evaluations to extend our analytical capacities to the subcellular level. Metabolites define and determine many key physiological and agronomic features in plants and an ability to integrate a metabolomics approach within current HTP phenotyping platforms has huge potential for added value. While key challenges remain on several fronts, novel technological innovations are upcoming yet under-exploited in a phenotyping context. In this review, we present an overview of the state of the art and how current limitations might be overcome to enable full integration of metabolomics approaches into a generic phenotyping pipeline in the near future.