Genes to proteins to metabolites - molecular phenotypes and synergetics

  • Together, metabolites, proteins, and transcripts form correlated, dynamic networks that mediate plant responses to environmental cues. The complexity of this system is enormous. Our work focuses on identifying and quantifying these network components and their interaction. 
  • Transcript profiling is widely used in this and other laboratories, but over the past few years, the importance of metabolite and protein profiling for a systems understanding became obvious. We’ve established GC/MS and LC/MS based metabolomics, and LC/MS based shotgun proteomics techniques. A further approach in our laboratory is mass spectrometry-based techniques to investigate plant signaling cascades and protein phosphorylation as playing a central role in controling network processes. To integrate these multilevel omics data, we use statistical and mathematical models tailor made for biological interpretation and systems-oriented biomarker discovery (for subtopics see references below).
  • A strong research field is data integration in combination with pattern recognition techniques. This unique approach combines high through put profiling strategies with biological interpretation and metabolic modelling of high dimensional data matrixes and complex metabolic networks (see Weckwerth 2008).