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    Wood has played a primary role in the evolution of land plants (Spicer and Groover 2010), but our understanding of the genes and mechanisms underlying wood evolution and development has been limited until recently. Importantly, many of the fundamental questions of woody plant evolution and development are now tractable using genomics and high-capacity sequencing technologies. A major challenge is to integrate the knowledge from traditional disciplines of woody plant research (e.g., anatomy, paleobotany, physiology, and developmental biology) with genomics and sequencing-based technologies. A synthetic field of research integrating these disciplines would be well positioned to make major advances in the basic biology of plants and to address applied goals such as providing optimal biofuels feedstocks or informing conservation strategies for forests in the face of climate change. This special issue of the International Journal of Plant Sciences highlights some of the research opportunities, including examples of fascinating evolutionary and developmental processes associated with woody plants and new genomics-based approaches for understanding them. Interestingly, many of the outstanding questions about the evolution and development of woody plants date to the beginnings of plant science.

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    Groover, Andrew; Cronk, Quentin. 2013. From Nehemiah Grew to Genomics: the emerging field of evo-devo research for woody plants. International Journal of Plant Science 174(7), 959-963.


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    Forest trees, wood development, genomics

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