About this Research Topic
Looking back in time at the genomes of plants and their pathogens has obvious potential to test historical biological hypotheses and generate fascinating new evolutionary insights Rapid advances in next-generation sequencing (NGS) and ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis promise to transform the world’s herbarium collections into important genomic resources. The number of publications reporting the recovery and analysis of genetic data from herbarium collections is increasing steadily, and higher-impact work to recover whole genomes from archival plants is in progress.
Phylogenetic and evolutionary genomic studies utilizing herbarium specimens promises to grow dramatically in the near future, as genomic sequencing technology becomes less expensive. This will add new value to the herbarium as a genomic repository, an important development as herbarium collections are at the same time experiencing declining in funding and budget shortfalls. It is also well understood that many undescribed species reside in existing herbarium collections, which increases their relevance as archives of biodiversity. Much recent work in recovering and analyzing aDNA from degraded tissues has overcome past technical and computational challenges, and specialized laboratory protocols and open-source software tools implemented these solutions for the of degraded plant tissues for genetic analysis.
This topic will collect outstanding recent successes in genetic analysis of herbarium specimens, and will inspire an opinion article predicting the potential of these approaches for evolutionary genomic, population genetic, phylogenetic, and biosystematic discovery in archival plants and their associated pathogens.
Keywords: population genetics, population genomics, genomics, genetics, evolutionary genetics, evolutionary genomics, ancient dna, hebarium, herbaria, herbarium genetics, phylogenetics, phylogenomics, pathogenomics, plant biology, botany, biosystematics
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