Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (414 KB)

Title: Grand challenges in evolutionary and population genetics: The importance of integrating epigenetics, genomics, modeling, and experimentation

Author: Cushman, Samuel A.;

Date: 2014

Source: Frontiers in Genetics. 5: Article 197.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: This is a time of explosive growth in the fields of evolutionary and population genetics, with whole genome sequencing and bioinformatics driving a transformative paradigm shift (Morozova and Marra, 2008). At the same time, advances in epigenetics are thoroughly transforming our understanding of evolutionary processes and their implications for populations, species and communities (Callinan and Feinberg, 2006). These revolutionary changes present tremendous opportunities and challenges to our field (Table 1). In this essay, I will lay out my personal interpretation of what some of the biggest opportunities and challenges are for evolutionary and population genetics over the next decade. I believe that for our field to take full advantage of these tremendous opportunities, we must effectively combine genomics, epigenetics, bioinformatics, experiments and modeling (Figure 1). Genomic pipelines are rapidly producing intractably large volumes of data (e.g., Griffiths-Jones et al., 2008), often without sufficient forethought about what the data will be used for, or how it will be curated, archived, and analyzed. We would be well served by thinking carefully in advance about hypotheses, what data would be best suited to address them, what experiments could be designed to evaluate and validate results, and how powerful modeling approaches could be coupled with experimentation and data mining to generalize experimental results and explore their implications across scales of biological organization from nucleotides to ecosystems.

Keywords: evolutionary and population genetics, epigenetics, bioinformatics, genomics, modeling

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Cushman, Samuel A. 2014. Grand challenges in evolutionary and population genetics: The importance of integrating epigenetics, genomics, modeling, and experimentation. Frontiers in Genetics. 5: Article 197.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.