Fiveyear Viewpoint

The decoding of the human genome has enabled the world-wide proteomics community to progress with a speed that was unthinkable before. The combination of MS fragmentation of peptides with bioinformatics tools that search more and more completed genomic databases of many species allows the sequence analysis of hundreds, even thousands of peptides, within a single day. The application of improved analytical technology to the precious world of peptides will bring further benefit to the field. Higher sensitivity in combination with better quantification and structural identification of thousands of analytes will make peptidomics an integral part of systems biology approaches. A deeper understanding of peptidomics is expected, not only in humans but in all biological applications and species [7]. We expect that peptidomics will move from a niche application to a fully recognized "omics-type" technology. The challenge remains to use peptidomics technologies to understand functional variations in health and disease contexts. If this can be achieved, new opportunities for pharmaceutical but also for nutritional and nutriceutical applications will arise. We expect a future dominant role for peptides in body fluids and tissues as markers of disease [8].

Editors Note. Readers are referred to recent papers on the M. truncatula plant peptidome [9] and the Arabidopsis unannotated secreted peptide database [10] for further reading on the subject.

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