Unpredictability of metabolism—the key role of metabolomics science in combination with next-generation genome sequencing
Next-generation sequencing provides technologies which sequence whole prokaryotic and eukaryotic genomes in days, perform genome-wide association studies, chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing and RNA sequencing for transcriptome studies. An exponentially growing volume of sequence data can be anticipated, yet functional interpretation does not keep pace with the amount of data produced. In principle, these data contain all the secrets of living systems, the genotype–phenotype relationship. Firstly, it is possible to derive the structure and connectivity of the metabolic network from the genotype of an organism in the form of the stoichiometric matrix N. This is, however, static information. Strategies for genome-scale measurement, modelling and predicting of dynamic metabolic networks need to be applied. Consequently, metabolomics science—the quantitative measurement of metabolism in conjunction with metabolic modelling—is a key discipline for the functional interpretation of whole genomes and especially for testing the numerical predictions of metabolism based on genome-scale metabolic network models. In this context, a systematic equation is derived based on metabolomics covariance data and the genome-scale stoichiometric matrix which describes the genotype–phenotype relationship.