Metabolomics in plant-herbivore interactions: challenges and applications

Maag, Daniel; Erb, Matthias; Glauser, Gaétan (2015). Metabolomics in plant-herbivore interactions: challenges and applications. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 157(1), pp. 18-29. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing 10.1111/eea.12336

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Metabolomics as the study of the entire set of metabolites of a given organism is an important frontier in life sciences. As a tool that captures the ‘front end’ of cellular machineries, metabolomics is particularly suited to investigate biotic interactions, including for instance the interplay between plants and insects. In this review, we discuss the opportunities and challenges of metabolomics to study plant–herbivore interactions. We first present a brief overview of the typical analytical workflows used in metabolomics and their associated issues, in particular those related to metabolome coverage and compound identification. Second, recent advances in the field of plant–herbivore relationships that are promoted by non-targeted approaches are reviewed, with examples ranging from classical herbivore resistance patterns to plant-mediated interactions across different spatial scales and volatile-mediated tritrophic interactions. Through general considerations and the discussion of a few selected case studies, our review highlights the potential and challenges of metabolomics as a research approach to understand biological interfaces.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Biotic Interactions
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Erb, Matthias


500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)




Wiley-Blackwell Publishing




Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

23 Oct 2015 13:53

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:49

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

hromatography; mass spectrometry;nuclear magnetic resonance; marker identification; multitrophic interactions; herbivory; plant defense; secondary metabolites; volatile organic compounds




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