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The 2011 ASHS Annual Conference

Advances In Understanding Plant Metabolism Related to Crop Quality and Composition

The objective of this colloquium is to illustrate the use of a metabolic approach to understand the factors influencing plant composition. Scientist at the forefront of plant metabolite profiling will present studies of the inter-relationship of metabolites in plants with specific examples related to quality of horticultural crops. This colloquium will demonstrate the power of metabolic profiling as a tool for horticultural research. We hope it will encourage horticulturalists to adopt this technology and collaborate with colleagues doing metabolomics to tackle problems of crop quality and composition.
The quality of horticultural crops is a function of their metabolite content and composition. The value of many horticultural plants is determined by the particular combination of metabolites that confer sweetness, acidity, colors, flavors, and aromas. Metabolite profiling has emerged as a powerful tool in plant biology research. More information is gained from examining a wide array of metabolites than a single chemical of interest. In particular, metabolite profiling allows us to understand the inter-relationships between primary and secondary metabolism in plants. This may be more relevant to horticulture than are other tools of molecular biology, for studying the genome, transcriptome, and proteome. However, very few horticulturists have taken advantage of this new tool to study the influences of genetics, development, and environment on composition of horticultural crops. Metabolomics offers a great potential to horticultural biologists who seek to improve fruit quality and productivity via breeding/selecting desired genotypes, or by optimizing environmental factors/cultural practices.
Monday, September 26, 2011: 8:00 AM
Monarchy Ballroom