Final Report Summary - SAMIT (Systems Analysis of Plant Metabolism through the Integration of Heterogeneous Data from Genetics, Informatics and Metabolomics)
The term METABOLISM describes all the chemical reactions and interactions that take place in a biological system. The regulation of metabolic pathways is constantly tuned in order to suit the needs of development and fitness. The main aim of the SAMIT project was to unravel networks of genes and proteins which coordinate the activity of metabolic pathways during plant development and stress response. In Phase I of the project, we established analytical tools including a supporting computational pipeline that allows comprehensive, non-targeted assays of metabolites that is largely based on mass-spectrometry. In one of many applications, this platform was employed for the first time to conduct cell-type specific metabolic profiling of plant root cell layers. A population of tomato mutant lines was generated that includes a large number of dominant mutants. This mutant library served as a continues resource of novel plant material for the identification of key components involved in regulating metabolic pathways in plants. The integration of information obtained by metabolome and transcriptome analysis was most effective in gene discovery along the project. In a recent example, the entire biosynthetic pathway of anti-nutritional components, composed of ten genes, in potato and other Solanacea species, was unrevealed. Altogether, the research conducted in the course of the SAMIT project integrated heterogeneous set of data (genetic, gene expression, protein interaction and metabolic) and provided extensive insight to plant metabolism and its regulation. The achievements of the SAMIT project are embedded and described in dozens of publications and several patent applications.