Plant metabolomics for plant chemical responses to belowground community change by climate change

Sangkyu Park, Young Su Seo, Adrian D. Hegeman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


General circulation models on global climate change predict increase in surface air temperature and changes in precipitation. Increases in air temperature (thus soil temperature) and altered precipitation are known to affect the species composition and function of soil microbial communities. Plant roots interact with diverse soil organisms such as bacteria, protozoa, fungi, nematodes, annelids and insects. Soil organisms show diverse interactions with plants (eg. competition, mutualism and parasitism) that may alter plant metabolism. Besides plant roots, various soil microbes such as bacteria and fungi can produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can serve as infochemicals among soil organisms and plant roots. While the effects of climate change are likely to alter both soil communities and plant metabolism, it is equally probable that these changes will have cascading consequnces for grazers and subsequent food web components aboveground. Advances in plant metabolomics have made it possibile to track changes in plant metabolomes as they respond to biotic and abiotic environmental changes. Recent developments in analytical instrumentation and bioinformatics software have established metabolomics as an important research tool for studying ecological interactions between plants and other organisms. In this review, we will first summarize recent progress in plant metabolomics methodology and subsequently review recent studies of interactions between plants and soil organisms in relation to climate change issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-149
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Plant Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean Government (No. 2009-0068335 and No. 2009-00073291). We thank to Yusol Park for her


  • Altered precipitation
  • Belowground and aboveground
  • Climate change
  • Metabolomics
  • Soil microbial communities
  • Volatile organic compounds
  • Warming


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