Nitrogen-use efficiency in maize (Zea mays L.): From 'omics' studies to metabolic modelling

Margaret Simons, Rajib Saha, Lenaïg Guillard, Gilles Clément, Patrick Armengaud, Rafael Cañas, Costas D. Maranas, Peter J. Lea, Bertrand Hirel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


In this review, we will present the latest developments in systems biology with particular emphasis on improving nitrogen-use efficiency (NUE) in crops such as maize and demonstrating the application of metabolic models. The review highlights the importance of improving NUE in crops and provides an overview of the transcriptome, proteome, and metabolome datasets available, focusing on a comprehensive understanding of nitrogen regulation. 'Omics' data are hard to interpret in the absence of metabolic flux information within genome-scale models. These models, when integrated with 'omics' data, can serve as a basis for generating predictions that focus and guide further experimental studies. By simulating different nitrogen (N) conditions at a pseudo-steady state, the reactions affecting NUE and additional gene regulations can be determined. Such models thus provide a framework for improving our understanding of the metabolic processes underlying the more efficient use of N-based fertilizers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5657-5671
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of experimental botany
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Maize
  • Metabolic modelling
  • Metabolome
  • Proteome
  • Systems biology
  • Transcriptome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science


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