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    Description

    Forest biology is undergoing a fundamental change fostered by the application of genomic science to longstanding questions surrounding the evolution, adaptive traits, development, and environmental interactions of tree species. Genomic science has made major technical leaps in recent years, most notably with the advent of ‘next generation sequencing’ but translating these technical advances into new biological insights can be challenging, especially in long-lived perennial forest trees. In a meeting of 80 delegates from around the world, the 35th New Phytologist Symposium co-organized by Andrew Groover (US Forest Service and University of California Davis, USA) and William Friedman (Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA) showcased examples of both technical feats such as the sequencing of massive conifer genomes as well as important new insights into the biology of trees. Excitingly, genomics-based research is being extended beyond the handful of traditional model forest tree species, to encompass the amazing diversity of species we call trees. Additionally, delegates participated in discussion groups, which were challenged with questions concerning the scientific advancement of forest biology research as well as questions surrounding practical issues ranging from funding to career advancement for young researchers in this field. Here, highlights are presented both from the scientific presentations, as well as opinions shared by delegates regarding the needs and opportunities facing the forest biology community.

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    Citation

    Groover, Andrew 2015. Genomic science provides new insights into the biology of forest trees. New Phytologist. 208(2): 302-305.

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    Keywords

    adaptation, climate change, forest trees, population genomics, sequencing, tree genomics

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