Measuring multiple fluxes through plant metabolic networks


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Fluxes through metabolic networks are crucial for cell function, and a knowledge of these fluxes is essential for understanding and manipulating metabolic phenotypes. Labeling provides the key to flux measurement, and in network flux analysis the measurement of multiple fluxes allows a flux map to be superimposed on the metabolic network. The principles and practice of two complementary methods, dynamic and steady-state labeling, are described, emphasizing best practice and illustrating their contribution to network flux analysis with examples taken from the plant and microbial literature. The principal analytical methods for the detection of stable isotopes are also described, as well as the procedures for obtaining flux maps from labeling data. A series of boxes summarizing the key concepts of network flux analysis is provided for convenience.