In the past two decades, the post-genomic era envisaged high-throughput technologies, resulting in more species with available genome sequences. In-depth multi-omics approaches have evolved to integrate cellular processes at various levels into a systems biology knowledge base. Metabolomics plays a crucial role in molecular networking to bridge the gaps between genotypes and phenotypes. However, the greater complexity of metabolites with diverse chemical and physical properties has limited the advances in plant metabolomics. For several years, applications of liquid/gas chromatography (LC/GC)-mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) have been constantly developed. Recently, ion mobility spectrometry (IMS)-MS has shown utility in resolving isomeric and isobaric metabolites. Both MS and NMR combined metabolomics significantly increased the identification and quantification of metabolites in an untargeted and targeted manner. Thus, hyphenated metabolomics tools will narrow the gap between the number of metabolite features and the identified metabolites. Metabolites change in response to environmental conditions, including biotic and abiotic stress factors. The spatial distribution of metabolites across different organs, tissues, cells and cellular compartments is a trending research area in metabolomics. Herein, we review recent technological advancements in metabolomics and their applications in understanding plant stress biology and different levels of spatial organization. In addition, we discuss the opportunities and challenges in multiple stress interactions, multi-omics, and single-cell metabolomics.
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