Here we review exometabolomics approaches and applications to show how this simple technique can provide critical insights into phenotypes, cellular interactions and environmental transformations. We highlight how this approach can be used in rapid phenotyping assays that are becoming popular in drug development, synthetic biology, biofuel development, and investigating the metabolic interactions and dependencies of cells. Lastly, we anticipate that exometabolomics in conjunction with mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) will provide important insights into metabolic interactions between populations of cells. We also discuss how exometabolomics and mass spectrometry imaging can be used as complimentary techniques for understanding microbial communities.
A link to the article can be found at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25855407