One of the most well-characterised plant pathogenic interactions involves Arabidopsis thaliana and the bacteria Pseudomonas syringae pathovar tomato (Pst). The standard Pst inoculation procedure involves infiltration of large populations of bacteria into plant leaves which means that metabolite changes cannot be readily assigned to the host or pathogen. A plant cell-pathogen co-culture based approach has been developed where the plant and pathogen cells are separated after 12 h of co-culture via differential filtering and centrifugation. Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy was employed to assess the intracellular metabolomes (metabolic fingerprints) of both host and pathogen and their extruded (extracellular) metabolites (metabolic footprints) under conditions relevant to disease and resistance. We propose that this system will enable the metabolomic profiling of the separated host and pathogen (i.e. 'dual metabolomics') and will facilitate the modelling of reciprocal responses. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.