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

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. The progress in this area is limited to model systems with deep genetic and genomic resources that often have negligible ecological impact or interest. Therefore, important linkages between genetic adaptations and their consequences at organismal and ecological scales are often lacking. 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.
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  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Biosciences Division, Climate Change Science Inst.
  2. Univ. of Guelph, ON (Canada). Dept. of Integrative Biology
  3. Texas Tech Univ., Lubbock, TX (United States). Dept. of Biological Sciences
  4. Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Uppsala (Sweden). Dept. of Ecology
  5. Univ. of Western Ontario, London, ON (Canada). Dept. of Biology
  6. Queen Mary Univ. of London (United Kingdom). School of Geography
  7. Union College, Schenectady, NY (United States). Dept. of Biological Sciences
  8. Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States). Dept. of Biology
  9. Univ. of Maryland Center of Environmental Science, Frostburg, MD (United States). Applachian Lab.
  10. HudsonAlpha Inst. of Biotechnology, Huntsville, AL (United States); USDOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI), Walnut Creek, CA (United States)
  11. Umea Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of Ecology and Environmental Science
  12. Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK (United States). Inst. of Arctic Biology
  13. Norwegian Univ. of Science and Technology, Trondheim (Norway). NTNU Univ. Museum
  14. Univ. of Zurich (Switzerland). Dept. of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany
  15. Duke Univ., Durham, NC (United States). Dept. of Biology
  16. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Biosciences Division
  17. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Climate Change Science Inst., Environmental Sciences Division
  18. Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States). Schools of Biology and Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
  19. Uppsala Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of Ecology and Genetics
  20. Wageningen Univ. (Netherlands). Plant Ecology and Nature Conservation Group, Dept. of Environmental Sciences
  21. Univ. of Eastern Finland, Joensuu (Finland). School of Forest Sciences
  22. Max Planck Inst. for Evolutionary Biology, Plon (Germany)
  23. Florida Atlantic Univ., Davie, FL (United States). Dept. of Biological Sciences
  24. Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Umea (Sweden). Dept. of Forest Ecology and Management
  25. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States). Dept of Plant Sciences
  26. Northern Research Station, Hougton, MI (United States). U.S. Forest Service
  27. Queen Mary Univ., London (United Kingdom). School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725; AC02-05CH11231; #EF-0905606
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
New Phytologist
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: NA; Journal Issue: NA; Journal ID: ISSN 0028-646X
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23); National Science Foundation (NSF)
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; ecological genomics; ecosystem engineering; evolutionary genetics; genome sequencing; niche construction; peatlands; Sphagnome; Sphagnum
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1405197