Abstract Detail

Revolutionizing systematics: Herbaria in the Genomics Age

McKain, Michael [1], Lagomarsino, Laura [2].

Revolutionizing systematics: Herbaria in the Genomics Age.

Herbaria are crucial documentation of the botanical world, marking species’ presence through space and time. While herbarium specimens were traditionally used in taxonomic and floristic studies, the last two decades have seen the integration of natural history collections into broader arenas of biology. Even more recent advances in sequencing technology have allowed herbarium specimens, with their typically degraded DNA, to play a growing role in modern evolutionary biology. Now more than ever before, investigations into fundamental principles of plant biology are not limited to a small number of model organisms, and new genomes of non-model species are coming online seemingly every day. This colloquium will explore the synergy of herbaria and genomic-scale data within the field of plant evolutionary biology, with a focus on systematics, a field that increasingly expands upon the simple delimitation of evolutionary relationships. We aim to highlight botanical research, particularly by early career scientists, that derives genomic data from herbarium specimens. The colloquium will be broken down into four parts. In the first, recent advances in computational methods that are robust to the typically low quality-low quantity DNA extracted from herbarium specimens will be highlighted. In the second, we will feature a series of empirical phylogenetic systematic studies that use herbarium specimens as a primary source of DNA, including those that incorporate recently extinct taxa into molecular phylogenies of extant taxa. The third focus will be on studies that incorporate multiple data types (including, at a minimum, genomic data, but extending to include locality information, morphological data, or chemical components) from herbarium specimens to address both micro- and macroevolutionary hypotheses. Finally, we will end with a series of talks that focus on what both organizers believe represents the future of plant systematics, complementing phylogenetic studies: evolutionary genomics from herbarium specimens. The organizers are committed to attracting a diverse set of speakers. Invitations will be made to maximize representation across gender, race, nationality, sexual orientation, and other personal identities. The majority of presenters will be early career (defined as pre-tenure, and including graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and new faculty and curators), though we have included three tenured researchers who have contributed substantially to the field.

1 - The University of Alabama, Biological Sciences, 300 Hackberry Lane, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 35487, United States
2 - Louisiana State University, Biological Sciences, 202 Life Sciences Building, Baton Rouge, LA, 70803, USA

evolutionary genomics
species diversity

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Abstract ID:27
Candidate for Awards:None

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