Alexandre Foito* and Derek Stewart Pages 1 - 12 ( 12 )
Plants and crops contain a staggering diversity of compounds, many of which have pharmacological activity towards a variety of diseases. These properties have been exploited by traditional and modern medicine providing important sources of healthcare to this day. The contribution of natural products (such as plant-derived) to the modern pharmacopeia is indeed significant; however, the process of identifying novel bioactive compounds from biological sources has been a central challenge in the discovery of natural products. The resolution of these challenges relied extensively on the use of hyphenated mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based analytical technologies for the structural elucidation and annotation of novel compounds. Technical developments in instrumentation and data processing have fostered the development of the field of metabolomics which provides a wealth of tools with the huge potential for application in the process of drug/bioactive discovery from plant tissues. This manuscript provides an overview of the metabolomics toolbox available for the discovery of novel bioactive compounds and the integration of these tools in the bioprospection and drug discovery workflows.
Metabolomics, Plants, Bioprospection, Drug Discovery, Bioactivity, Chemical Diversity.
Environmental and Biochemical Sciences Group, The James Hutton Institute, Invergowrie, Scotland, Environmental and Biochemical Sciences Group, The James Hutton Institute, Invergowrie, Scotland