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Evolutionary biology for the 21st century.

Losos JB, Arnold SJ, Bejerano G, Brodie ED, Hibbett D, Hoekstra HE, Mindell DP, Monteiro A, Moritz C, Orr HA, Petrov DA, Renner SS, Ricklefs RE, Soltis PS, Turner TL - PLoS Biol. (2013)

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Museum of Comparative Zoology and Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. jlosos@oeb.harvard.edu

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We can now synthesize and analyze large data sets containing genomes, transcriptomes, proteomes, and multivariate phenotypes... At the same time, society's need for the results of biological research has never been greater... Currently, the trend is to rely on biotechnology to introduce either herbicide resistance genes or herbivore-directed toxins, such as Bt, to combat crop competitors and herbivores, respectively, and thus promote increasing yields... Unfortunately, genetically modified crops are genetically uniform and so do not represent a long-term solution against the evolution of either herbicide or Bt resistance... The agriculture of the future must incorporate evolutionary thinking to reduce the evolution of resistance and the risk of pathogen outbreaks... Maintaining genetic diversity in crop and animal production systems considerably reduces these risks... Given the rate of anthropogenic climate change, evolutionary theory and experiments can help predict vulnerability (i.e., inability to adapt) of species and thus improve conservation strategies... For example, what proportion of selection on genomes results from adaptation to the abiotic environment, coevolution of species, sexual selection, or genetic conflict? While we need to retain the traditional focus on phenotypes, powerful new capabilities to obtain and interpret both genomic and spatial data can and should revolutionize the science of biodiversity... While research on speciation has seen a resurgence over the last two decades –, new tools—including genomic data—can support new approaches for a number of important questions, including discovering genomic signatures underlying the evolution of prezygotic reproductive isolation, and describing how hybridization, contact between incipient species, genome reorganization, and genome duplication, affect speciation... For all these reasons, further integration of paleontology with other fields of evolutionary biology, as well as development of genetic-evolutionary research programs on clades with excellent fossil records (e.g., foraminifera, diatoms, mollusks; Figure 3), will be important... The task of integrating evolutionary knowledge within and across scales of biological organization, as discussed above, requires development of many comparative databases and analytical tools... We would do well to collaborate broadly, cultivating new expertise, and to watch out for the unexpected, as analyses of new kinds of data can reveal that preconceptions are unfounded... The next 20 years hold the promise of a golden age for evolutionary biology... Whether we realize that promise depends in part on how effectively we communicate that message.

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Evolutionary biology is being transformed by increasing access to burgeoning data on variation in genomes, organisms, and the environment.All this can be connected to the Tree of Life (phylogeny), from populations to entire clades, and is enabled by new protocols and networks in biodiversity informatics.
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pbio-1001466-g001: Evolutionary biology is being transformed by increasing access to burgeoning data on variation in genomes, organisms, and the environment.All this can be connected to the Tree of Life (phylogeny), from populations to entire clades, and is enabled by new protocols and networks in biodiversity informatics.

Mentions: Our ability to apply evolutionary concepts to a wide range of problems has never been greater. Changes in the availability of data and an emerging scientific culture that embraces rapid, open access to many kinds of data (genomic, phenotypic, and environmental), along with a computational infrastructure that can connect these rich sources of data ([19], Figure 1), will transform the nature and scale of problems that can be addressed by evolutionary biology.


Evolutionary biology for the 21st century.

Losos JB, Arnold SJ, Bejerano G, Brodie ED, Hibbett D, Hoekstra HE, Mindell DP, Monteiro A, Moritz C, Orr HA, Petrov DA, Renner SS, Ricklefs RE, Soltis PS, Turner TL - PLoS Biol. (2013)

Evolutionary biology is being transformed by increasing access to burgeoning data on variation in genomes, organisms, and the environment.All this can be connected to the Tree of Life (phylogeny), from populations to entire clades, and is enabled by new protocols and networks in biodiversity informatics.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3539946&req=5

pbio-1001466-g001: Evolutionary biology is being transformed by increasing access to burgeoning data on variation in genomes, organisms, and the environment.All this can be connected to the Tree of Life (phylogeny), from populations to entire clades, and is enabled by new protocols and networks in biodiversity informatics.
Mentions: Our ability to apply evolutionary concepts to a wide range of problems has never been greater. Changes in the availability of data and an emerging scientific culture that embraces rapid, open access to many kinds of data (genomic, phenotypic, and environmental), along with a computational infrastructure that can connect these rich sources of data ([19], Figure 1), will transform the nature and scale of problems that can be addressed by evolutionary biology.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Museum of Comparative Zoology and Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. jlosos@oeb.harvard.edu

AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED EXCERPT
Please rate it.

We can now synthesize and analyze large data sets containing genomes, transcriptomes, proteomes, and multivariate phenotypes... At the same time, society's need for the results of biological research has never been greater... Currently, the trend is to rely on biotechnology to introduce either herbicide resistance genes or herbivore-directed toxins, such as Bt, to combat crop competitors and herbivores, respectively, and thus promote increasing yields... Unfortunately, genetically modified crops are genetically uniform and so do not represent a long-term solution against the evolution of either herbicide or Bt resistance... The agriculture of the future must incorporate evolutionary thinking to reduce the evolution of resistance and the risk of pathogen outbreaks... Maintaining genetic diversity in crop and animal production systems considerably reduces these risks... Given the rate of anthropogenic climate change, evolutionary theory and experiments can help predict vulnerability (i.e., inability to adapt) of species and thus improve conservation strategies... For example, what proportion of selection on genomes results from adaptation to the abiotic environment, coevolution of species, sexual selection, or genetic conflict? While we need to retain the traditional focus on phenotypes, powerful new capabilities to obtain and interpret both genomic and spatial data can and should revolutionize the science of biodiversity... While research on speciation has seen a resurgence over the last two decades –, new tools—including genomic data—can support new approaches for a number of important questions, including discovering genomic signatures underlying the evolution of prezygotic reproductive isolation, and describing how hybridization, contact between incipient species, genome reorganization, and genome duplication, affect speciation... For all these reasons, further integration of paleontology with other fields of evolutionary biology, as well as development of genetic-evolutionary research programs on clades with excellent fossil records (e.g., foraminifera, diatoms, mollusks; Figure 3), will be important... The task of integrating evolutionary knowledge within and across scales of biological organization, as discussed above, requires development of many comparative databases and analytical tools... We would do well to collaborate broadly, cultivating new expertise, and to watch out for the unexpected, as analyses of new kinds of data can reveal that preconceptions are unfounded... The next 20 years hold the promise of a golden age for evolutionary biology... Whether we realize that promise depends in part on how effectively we communicate that message.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus