About this Research Topic
The Agavoideae (the former Agave family), includes a large number of ecologically and culturally iconic species that are dominant in vast areas of North America, the Caribbean, and Central and northern South America. Plant-pollinator coevolution has contributed to the diversity and ecological dominance of Agave and Yucca, and recent studies of reproductive biology across the clade is placing our understanding of these textbook pollination systems in broader evolutionary and ecological contexts. Similarly, classic work the physiological ecology of Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) in Agave is being expanded through integrated evolutionary and genomic investigations of likely independent origins of CAM in Agave, Yucca and other lineages within Agavoideae. Phylogenomic and transcriptomic analyses are also elucidating the origin of the discontinuous, bimodal distribution of chromosome sizes (5 Large + 25 small) that is shared among most Agavoideae species.
In addition to their ecological importance, Agave and their relatives are of great economic, horticultural, and cultural importance for Mexico and other countries, in the past mainly for fiber production and in the present also for production of distilled spirits including as tequila, mezcal and bacanora. Further, there is growing interest in Agave and Yucca as biofuel feedstocks and sources for sugars and other natural products, including saponins. At the same time, Agavoideae species have become problematic, non-native invasive in Oceania, South Africa, Asia, South America and Mediterranean regions.
The Agavoideae research article collection will highlight and give perspective on recent advances in evolutionary, ecological, physiological, and genomic research within in the group. Contributed papers will underscore how recent research is not only deepening understanding of Agavoideae biodiversity, but also elucidating fundamental evolutionary and ecological processes. We encourage submission of Original Research, Reviews, Mini Reviews, Methods, Perspectives, and Opinions covering the following topics with respect to Agavoideae taxa:
- Phylogeography, phylogeny, phylogenomics and diversification
- Reproductive ecology including sexual and vegetative propagation
- Ecophysiology and evolution of CAM photosynthesis
- Genome and gene family evolution
- Embryogenesis, genetics and transcriptomics
- Economic and ethno botany
- Conservation biology and studies on genetic resources
- Agave and related species microbiome
Please note that omics studies should provide at least one experimental support (e.g. in vivo or in vitro) in order to show that one, or more, candidates might indeed be involved in the biological process under analysis.
Keywords: Agavoideae, Yucca and Agave, Diversification, Reproductive Ecology, CAM Photosynthesis, Genome Evolution
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.