One of the more
striking aspects of this workshop was the remarkable level of consensus
about both the questions and the needs of the Evo-Devo and ToL communities.
- Both communities agreed
on the opportunities presented to understand the mechanisms of diversification
of life on earth in varied environments. This is a new era in comparative
biology that brings together all levels of biology from genomics to
paleontology asking the same, fundamental questions for the first
time. The opportunity
for synergism among fields of biology is potent.
- All agreed that having
arrayed BAC and cDNA libraries for phylogenetically broad groups of
organisms would be invaluable for both the phylogenetic and Evo-Devo
researchers and that theneed in the
community is urgent for such resources.
- Focused efforts to broaden
the group of organisms for which techniques are available for functional
analysis were strongly urged.
- Centralized repositories
with high quality control and timely distribution of the genomic resources
developed in all phases of this initiative are necessary.
- Integrated, relationally
based informatic resources are badly needed by both communities and
this need will only increase with the development of these new resources
and those anticipated under the ToL
initiative. All informatics data must be vouchered.
and momentum to mechanistically explain the origin of organic diversity
and shape the Tree of Life provides a chance to intellectually unite
the biological community.
It 's an opportunity we can 't afford to miss.