The utility of metabolomics as a tool to inform maize biology

David B. Medeiros, Yariv Brotman, Alisdair R. Fernie

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


With the rise of high-throughput omics tools and the importance of maize and its products as food and bioethanol, maize metabolism has been extensively explored. Modern maize is still rich in genetic and phenotypic variation, yielding a wide range of structurally and functionally diverse metabolites. The maize metabolome is also incredibly dynamic in terms of topology and subcellular compartmentalization. In this review, we examine a broad range of studies that cover recent developments in maize metabolism. Particular attention is given to current methodologies and to the use of metabolomics as a tool to define biosynthetic pathways and address biological questions. We also touch upon the use of metabolomics to understand maize natural variation and evolution, with a special focus on research that has used metabolite-based genome-wide association studies (mGWASs).

Original languageEnglish
Article number100187
JournalPlant Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - 12 Jul 2021


  • GWAS
  • Zea mays
  • metabolism
  • metabolite profiling
  • primary metabolites
  • secondary metabolites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine


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