Special Perspectives

Extending Genomics to Natural Communities and Ecosystems

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Science  25 Apr 2008:
Vol. 320, Issue 5875, pp. 492-495
DOI: 10.1126/science.1153918

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An important step in the integration of ecology and genomics is the progression from molecular studies of relatively simple model systems to complex field systems. The recent availability of sequenced genomes from key plants is leading to a new understanding of the molecular drivers of community composition and ecosystem processes. As genome sequences accumulate for species that form intimate associations in nature, a detailed view may emerge as to how these associations cause changes among species at the nucleotide level. This advance could dramatically alter views about the structure and evolution of communities and ecosystems.

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