Catalysis Meeting

Developing a Roadmap for The Future of Landscape Genomics

PI(s): Andrew Storfer (Washington State University)
Mary Poss (Pennsylvania State University)
Michael Antolin (Colorado State University)
Start Date: 1-Nov-2012
End Date: 31-Oct-2013
Keywords: evolutionary genetics, adaptation, landscape ecology, population genetics, genomics

With rapid sequencing of full genomes of virtually any species, we have entered the next phase of genetic research. Modern genome projects generate vast amounts of data, and scientists are challenged with developing new avenues for understanding the genetic basis of ecologically important (adaptive) traits. Studies of diseases of humans and their companion animals richly illustrate this potential. By comparing genomic information from affected versus disease-free individuals, we can discover the genes that cause disease and related symptoms. The same is true for bacteria and viruses that cause, or fail to cause, disease. We know that genes operate in complex genomic landscapes, rather than in isolation. A gene’s location within a genome may regulate its expression, as well as its interaction with other genes. Further, an individual’s environment – the physical landscape - may influence gene expression. Thus, disease symptoms may differ between individuals who have the same underlying genetic propensity or infection but live in different places. Our proposed “Landscape Genomics” program holds promise for better understanding links between the genomic landscape and the environmental landscape. Presently, scientists are awash with data, as methods to unlock the power of genome projects are still under development. To construct a roadmap for efficiently navigating genomic data, we are convening a meeting of experts in genomics, spatial statistical analyses, and population genetics. We will examine advances in genomics and methods for analyzing the environmental context of genomic variation. Our goal is to identify and prioritize the most promising analytical frameworks for future development.