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Insights into the spatial and temporal organisation of plant metabolism from network flux analysis

Moreira, Thiago Batista, Lima, Janderson Moraes, Coca, Guilherme Carvalho, Williams, Thomas Christopher Rhys
Theoretical and Experimental Plant Physiology 2019 v.31 no.1 pp. 215-226
isotope labeling, metabolism, models, plant physiology, tissues
The great complexity of plant metabolism, with multiple subcellular compartments, cell types, tissues and organs, greatly complicates its analysis. This problem is compounded by the extensive changes that occur in metabolism over time, both during day/night cycles and throughout the course of an entire life cycle. In this context in silico network flux analysis, including both isotope labelling and stoichiometric modelling approaches, represent an important tool to study plant metabolism, providing a framework for the integration of data from a number of experimental strategies. Together, these methods have provided insight into the subcellular distribution of metabolic flux, the interactions between different cell types, source and sink relationships between organs, and how metabolic flux alters over time both at the cellular and whole plant scale. In this review we discuss how network flux analysis has contributed to our understanding of the spatial and temporal organisation of plant metabolism, looking in detail at key studies that address questions surrounding plant metabolism at different scales, from subcellular to whole plant.