Chemical genetics is a powerful new discipline in plant science. Bioactive small molecules can be used to identify novel signalling nodes and unravel redundant networks. Observations made so far have revealed a series of principles in plant chemical genetics. These principles concern compound properties, such as bioactivation and bioavailability; and valuable approaches, like the use of derivatives and transcriptomics and successful ways of target identification. Together, these principles explain why the choice of the chemical library is important and instruct the design of future chemical genetic screens.
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