Tree of Life
Under this activity, bioGENESIS implements two kinds of projects, which are relevant to Focus 1 of the bioGENESIS scientific strategy: "New strategies and tools for documenting biodiversity":
A key bioGENESIS initiative is to encourage and show the added value of connecting the current “bar-coding” effort (represented by Barcode of Life Initiative - BOLI and the Consortium for the Barcode of Life - CBOL) to the “Tree of Life” activities (represented by the programme Assembling the Tree of Life - ATOL). A crucial role is to help to scale-up bar-coding standards to multi-locus assays so as to increase connectivity to tree of life databases.
El árbol de la vida: sistemática y evolución de los seres vivos ("The Tree Of Life: systematics and evolution of living beings") Vargas P. & Zardoya R. (Eds), Madrid 2012
Workshops and conferences
Workshop on "Access and Benefit-sharing in Non-Commercial Biodiversity Research"
14-19 November 2008 - Bonn, Germany
Sponsors: Consortium for the Barcode of Life (CBOL), bioGENESIS
Approximately 50 participants, representing researchers, policy-makers, and other ABS stakeholders from different geographic regions, attended this workshop. The goal of this workshop was to bring some input in the development of an international regime for access and benefit sharing by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). CBD created an Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS), which was tasked with creating an International ABS Regime by 2010. Three Ad Hoc Technical Expert Groups (AHTEGs) met in 2008 and 2009 to provide advice to the Working Group. During the ABS Workshop in Bonn, participants developed reports for submission to two of these three AHTEG meetings, in addition to the workshop report:
Contact: David Schindel, National Museum of Natural History - Washington, USA
Symposium "Evolutionary biology in the 21st century – tracing patterns of evolution through the Tree of Life"
3-7 June 2007 - Beijing, China
Sponsors: National Natural Science Foundation of China, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, bioGENESIS
This meeting brought together a group of ca. 20 internationally renowned evolutionary biologists to exchange ideas on their most recent research, to build bridges between evolutionary biologists inside and outside of China, and to promote evolutionary biological research in China. Approximately 300 Chinese scientists attended the symposium. Meeting with officials from the Chinese NSF resulted in a significant commitment of funds for Tree of Life research in China. The proceedings of the symposium have been published in the Journal of Systematics and Evolution.
Contacts: Michael Donoghue, Yale University, USA; and YL Qui, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
Workshop "Roots, branches and leaves: integrating the Tree and Barcodes of Life"
19-20 April 2007 - NESCent, Duke University, USA
Sponsors: Sloan Foundation, bioGENESIS
This two-day workshop, funded through a grant from the Sloan foundation, brought 30 leaders of the Assembling the Tree of Life (AToL) programme and the Barcode of Life Initiative (BOLI) to discuss shared goals, concerns, challenges and opportunities. Outcomes included higher levels of cooperation in areas such as data sharing, more efficient use of biomaterials, increased interoperability of databases, joint training programs for young taxonomists, and a unified approach to policies concerning permits for the collection and international shipment of scientific samples. A key outcome was a draft document on the ethics of collecting and transporting biological materials for biodiversity research.
Contacts: Joel Cracraft, AMNH, USA; Cliff Cunningham, Duke University, USA; David Schindel, National Museum of Natural History - Washington, USA; L Katz; and Michael Donoghue, Yale University, USA
This activity includes two different aspects of advancing the science of evolution, which related to Focus 1 of the bioGENESIS science strategy:
In addition to the activities presented below, bioGENESIS endorsed the European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy (EDIT). EDIT was a European virtual Network of Excellence (2006-2011) with the overall goal of integrating European taxonomic effort within this programme, and to build a world leading capacity. EDIT increased both the scientific basis and capacity for biodiversity conservation, and improved access to and the quality of a more unified taxonomic research information base. The operational and structural objectives of EDIT were to:
For more information, please visit the EDIT website.
Coordinator: Simon Tillier, National Museum of Natural History, France
Special issue: Journal of Biogeography, Vol. 36, No. 7, July 2009 “Origin and Evolution of Biota in Mediterranean Climate Zones: an Integrative Vision”
Conti E, Whittaker R J. 2009. Origin and Evolution of Biota in Mediterranean Climate Zones: an Integrative Vision (Frontispiece). Journal of Biogeography. 36-7: 1209
Ree R H, Sanmartín I. 2009. Prospects and challenges for parametric models in historical biogeographical inference. Journal of Biogeography. 36-7: 1211-1220
Ackerly D D. 2009. Evolution, origin and age of lineages in the Californian and Mediterranean floras. Journal of Biogeography. 36-7: 1221-1233
Yesson C, Toomey N H. Culham A. 2009. Cyclamen: time, sea and speciation biogeography using a temporally calibrated phylogeny. Journal of Biogeography. 36-7: 1234-1252
Cellinese N, Smith S A, Edwards E J, Kim S-T, Haberle R C, Avramakis M, Donoghue M J. 2009. Historical biogeography of the endemic Campanulaceae of Crete. Journal of Biogeography. 36-7: 1253-1269
Rodríguez-Sánchez F, Guzmán B, Valido A, Vargas P, Arroyo J. 2009. Late Neogene history of the laurel tree (Laurus L., Lauraceae) based on phylogeographical analyses of Mediterranean and Macaronesian populations. Journal of Biogeography. 36-7: 1270-1281
Mansion G, Selvi F, Guggisberg A, Conti E. 2009. Origin of Mediterranean insular endemics in the Boraginales: integrative evidence from molecular dating and ancestral area reconstruction. Journal of Biogeography. 36-7: 1282-1296
Vargas P, Carrió E, Guzmán B, Amat E, Güemes J. 2009. A geographical pattern of Antirrhinum (Scrophulariaceae) speciation since the Pliocene based on plastid and nuclear DNA polymorphisms. Journal of Biogeography. 36-7: 1297-1312
Lo Presti R M, Oberprieler C. 2009. Evolutionary history, biogeography and eco-climatological differentiation of the genus Anthemis L. (Compositae, Anthemideae) in the circum-Mediterranean area. Journal of Biogeography. 36-7: 1313-1332
Médail F, Diadema K. 2009. Glacial refugia influence plant diversity patterns in the Mediterranean Basin. Journal of Biogeography. 36-7: 1333-1345
Bittkau C, Comes H P. 2009. Molecular inference of a Late Pleistocene diversification shift in Nigella s. lat. (Ranunculaceae) resulting from increased speciation in the Aegean archipelago. Journal of Biogeography. 36-7: 1346-1360
Cheddadi R, Fady B, François L, Hajar L, Suc J-P, Huang K, Demarteau M, Vendramin G G, Ortu E. 2009. Putative glacial refugia of Cedrus atlantica deduced from Quaternary pollen records and modern genetic diversity. Journal of Biogeography. 36-7: 1361-1371
Molins A, Mayol M, Rosselló J A. 2009. Phylogeographical structure in the coastal species Senecio rodriguezii (Asteraceae), a narrowly distributed endemic Mediterranean plant. Journal of Biogeography. 36-7: 1372-1383
Ortiz M A, Tremetsberger K, Stuessy T F, Terrab A, García-Castaño J L, Talavera S. 2009. Phylogeographic patterns in Hypochaeris section Hypochaeris (Asteraceae, Lactuceae) of the western Mediterranean. Journal of Biogeography. 36-7: 1384-1397
Westberg E, Kadereit J W. 2009. The influence of sea currents, past disruption of gene flow and species biology on the phylogeographical structure of coastal flowering plants. Journal of Biogeography. 36-7: 1398-1410
Pérez-Barrales R, Pino R, Albaladejo R G, Arroyo J. 2009. Geographic variation of flower traits in Narcissus papyraceus (Amaryllidaceae): do pollinators matter? Journal of Biogeography. 36-7: 1411-1422
Conti E. 2007. Origin and evolution of biota in Mediterranean climate zones. Taxon 56(4): 1309–1312
Symposium “Dating divergence: the Tower of Babel of geneticists and paleontologists?” at the Society for Molecular Biology & Evolution (SMBE) annual meeting
5-8 June 2008 – Barcelona, Spain
Sponsors: IUBS, bioGENESIS
Divergence-time estimates derived from fossil and sequence data are often difficult to reconcile. Fossils can only provide evidence of the first appearance of the descendants of a branch in the tree, and thus they underestimate the date of the true splitting. However, molecular dates are consistently too old often due to statistical bias. With the advent of Bayesian relaxed molecular-clock models, debates are moving to consideration of the most appropriate constraints on the ages of a tree node. In the near future, the use of sequence data at a genomic scale for dating phylogenies will become the standard, and relevant fossils will steadily accumulate improving calibration points. The symposium aimed at bringing together experts in phylogenetic reconstruction, molecular dating, and fossil record in order to debate whether agreement between molecular and paleontological datings is possible, and how far we are from obtaining a timescale of life.
Contact: Rafael Zardoya, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales-CSIC, Spain
Symposium on the Future Trends of Taxonomy
21-23 January 2008 - Carvoeiro, Portugal
Sponsors: EU-EDIT project, Spanish DIVERSITAS National Committee, bioGENESIS
The study of biodiversity during this time of crisis is hindered by a worldwide shortage of taxonomists coupled with a lack of enough funding for taxonomic study. Therefore, it is mandatory both to adopt new technologies developed in other fields for taxonomic use, and to address the key conceptual challenges that taxonomy faces. Under the auspices of EDIT (European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy), 25 European scientists actively publishing in taxonomy, 90 EDIT members, 17 non-EDIT CETAF (Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities) members, and 15 speakers were invited to gather in a 3-day symposium to discuss in depth future trends of taxonomy. The last day was devoted to a brainstorming session to produce a scoping document summarizing the conclusions of the meeting, and providing recommendations for the future mission of EDIT.
Contact: Rafael Zardoya, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales-CSIC, Spain; and Ignacio Ribera, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales-CSIC, Spain
Meeting "Origin and evolution of biota in Mediterranean climate zones"
13-16 July 2007 – Zürich, Switzerland
Sponsors: Swiss National Science Foundation, Office of the Dean of Science of the University of Zürich, bioGENESIS
Understanding the biotic and abiotic processes that contribute to high species numbers in biodiversity "hot spots" is one of the major tasks of biology. The exceptional biological richness of the five Mediterranean climate zones of the Earth makes them an ideal case study to investigate the evolutionary and ecological dynamics that generate elevated species numbers. The goal of this meeting was to clarify the history of biotic assembly in Mediterranean climate zones by integrating evidence across multiple disciplines, including evolutionary biology, systematics, ecology, paleontology, paleoclimatology, and paleogeology. This international meeting included talks from 25 speakers representing 12 countries: Switzerland, Spain, France, Italy, Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, USA, Mexico, Chile, Australia. In addition to the speakers and organizers, 110 participants from 18 countries in Europe, the Americas, and Australia attended the conference and presented 53 posters.
The conference resulted in a special issue of the Journal of Biogeography, which came out in July 2009.
Contact: Elena Conti, University of Zürich, Switzerland