About this Research Topic
Metabolomics is a powerful tool for understanding how organisms respond to their environment because the small molecules comprising metabolomes are directly responsible for carrying out physiological processes. By profiling all the chemicals in a sample, metabolomes provide a comprehensive chemical picture, allowing researchers to characterize biochemical pathways, the phenotype of individuals, and the chemical diversity of biological communities. Despite its great potential, the application of metabolomics to questions in ecology and ecophysiology is still in its infancy. Recent advances in the field make this a good time to capture the state of current research in marine metabolomics, especially given the creative ways metabolomics is being applied to some of the most pressing questions in the marine environment.
Unlocking metabolomics for questions in ecology and ecophysiology requires new tools, applications, and research approaches, especially those not reliant upon identifying known molecules in reference libraries. Recent advancements in bioinformatic analysis of metabolomics data have opened opportunities to, for example, examine the chemical relationships between molecules and the co-occurrence of bacteria and small molecules. These advances are promising and suggest there is much more to be gained. The application of metabolomics in marine ecology has immense value because of the ancient lineages of organisms of interest, high chemical diversity, and the prevalence of chemical interactions between organisms. To advance this need, we solicit research studies that apply metabolomics to questions in marine ecology and ecophysiology. We welcome a broad pool of projects, including methods development, field collections, and field and lab experiments from metazoans to microbes. By organizing this Research Topic, we hope to bridge gaps between analytical chemistry, ecology, and physiology in order to answer fundamental and applied questions in the marine environment.
We specifically seek contributions relating to the following subjects:
Environmental change, global change, climate change
Organismal-level interactions at community scales
The use of metabolomic data in ecological time-series
The use of metabolomics data across spatial scales
Combination -omics studies e.g., metagenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics
Abstracts will not be considered for this Research Topic. Please submit your full manuscript for review.
Keywords: metabolomics, marine ecology, marine ecophysiology, chemical ecology
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.