Increasingly sophisticated measurement technologies have allowed the fields of metabolomics and genomics to identify, in parallel, risk factors of disease; predict drug metabolism; and study metabolic and genetic diversity in large human populations. Yet the complementarity of these fields and the utility of studying genes and metabolites together is belied by the frequent separate, parallel applications of genomic and metabolomic analysis. Early attempts at identifying co-variation and interaction between genetic variants and downstream metabolic changes, including metabolic profiling of human Mendelian diseases and quantitative trait locus mapping of individual metabolite concentrations, have recently been extended by new experimental designs that search for a large number of gene-metabolite associations. These approaches, including metabolomic quantitiative trait locus mapping and metabolomic genome-wide association studies, involve the concurrent collection of both genomic and metabolomic data and a subsequent search for statistical associations between genetic polymorphisms and metabolite concentrations across a broad range of genes and metabolites. These new data-fusion techniques will have important consequences in functional genomics, microbial metagenomics and disease modeling, the early results and implications of which are reviewed.