STARGATE Metabolomics Workshop

The workshop entitled “An Introduction to Plant Metabolomics” was the second of the five scientific workshops organized by STARGATE. These STARGATE workshops aim to train early-stage researchers (as well as other researchers interested in the topics) in data acquisition tools, data integration and analysis in the scope of the food system.

STARGATE partner Wageningen Plant Research was finally able to organise the workshop on Metabolomics on December 6th – 8th 2021. After having to cancel plans twice due to Covid restrictions it was finally agreed that in order to not lose any more time we had to drop the strong desire to have a physical meeting in Wageningen and to move to an online version. Despite the restrictions of a TEAMS environment, the workshop was a great success and the feedback already received from the participants has been highly positive. The workshop was fully subscribed with 10 young scientists from UCP-CBQF, Porto, and 5 each from, INRAE, IPK Gatersleben and WUR.

The workshop consisted of a combination of informative lectures, break-out sessions, group exercises and guest speakers. WUR staff provided the core activities and we were delighted to have representatives of two other STARGATE partners – Dr Yves Gibon (INRAE) and Dr António César Silva Ferreira to virtually join us to present real examples of how metabolomics is broadly being applied in crop research. In addition, to break up each day the students also received a virtual tour of the WUR Campus as well as a live–stream tour of the new Automated plant phenotyping facility at Wageningen UR. So, even though both students and course teachers missed the informal chats in the breaks and during dinner, the online version was nevertheless a great way to round off the year with something positive!

Robert Hall

Professor Plant Metabolomics Wageningen UR