Historic obstacles and emerging opportunities in the field of developmental metabolism - lessons from Heidelberg

Development. 2024 Jun 15;151(12):dev202937. doi: 10.1242/dev.202937. Epub 2024 Jun 24.


The field of developmental metabolism is experiencing a technological revolution that is opening entirely new fields of inquiry. Advances in metabolomics, small-molecule sensors, single-cell RNA sequencing and computational modeling present new opportunities for exploring cell-specific and tissue-specific metabolic networks, interorgan metabolic communication, and gene-by-metabolite interactions in time and space. Together, these advances not only present a means by which developmental biologists can tackle questions that have challenged the field for centuries, but also present young scientists with opportunities to define new areas of inquiry. These emerging frontiers of developmental metabolism were at the center of a highly interactive 2023 EMBO workshop 'Developmental metabolism: flows of energy, matter, and information'. Here, we summarize key discussions from this forum, emphasizing modern developmental biology's challenges and opportunities.

Keywords: Developmental metabolism; FRET sensors; Metabolic diseases; Metabolic set-points; Spatial metabolomics; Theoretical modeling.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Developmental Biology* / trends
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways
  • Metabolomics