The Sphagnome Project: enabling ecological and evolutionary insights through a genus-level sequencing project

David J. Weston, Merritt R. Turetsky, Matthew G. Johnson, Gustaf Granath, Zoë Lindo, Lisa R. Belyea, Steven K. Rice, David T. Hanson, Katharina A.M. Engelhardt, Jeremy Schmutz, Ellen Dorrepaal, Eugénie S. Euskirchen, Hans K. Stenøien, Péter Szövényi, Michelle Jackson, Bryan T. Piatkowski, Wellington Muchero, Richard J. Norby, Joel E. Kostka, Jennifer B. GlassHåkan Rydin, Juul Limpens, Eeva Stiina Tuittila, Kristian K. Ullrich, Alyssa Carrell, Brian W. Benscoter, Jin Gui Chen, Tobi A. Oke, Mats B. Nilsson, Priya Ranjan, Daniel Jacobson, Erik A. Lilleskov, R. S. Clymo, A. Jonathan Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Considerable progress has been made in ecological and evolutionary genetics with studies demonstrating how genes underlying plant and microbial traits can influence adaptation and even ‘extend’ to influence community structure and ecosystem level processes. Progress in this area is limited to model systems with deep genetic and genomic resources that often have negligible ecological impact or interest. Thus, important linkages between genetic adaptations and their consequences at organismal and ecological scales are often lacking. Here we introduce the Sphagnome Project, which incorporates genomics into a long-running history of Sphagnum research that has documented unparalleled contributions to peatland ecology, carbon sequestration, biogeochemistry, microbiome research, niche construction, and ecosystem engineering. The Sphagnome Project encompasses a genus-level sequencing effort that represents a new type of model system driven not only by genetic tractability, but by ecologically relevant questions and hypotheses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-25
Number of pages10
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume217
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2018

Keywords

  • Sphagnome
  • Sphagnum
  • ecological genomics
  • ecosystem engineering
  • evolutionary genetics
  • genome sequencing
  • niche construction
  • peatlands

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