Opinion. Seed traits and phylogenomics: prospects for the 21st century ($) (Seed Sci)

In August 2021, The International Seed Science Society hosted its 13th International Conference. The meeting had many exciting presentations, including the keynote lecture given by Dr. Hiroyuki Nonogaki, entitled “Seed traits and pylogenomics: perspectives for the 21st Century”. This paper synthesizes the presentation’s main points, providing a solid case for the use of phylogenomics –the intersection between phylogenetic methods and genomics– in the reconstruction of species’ evolutionary history. To illustrate their case, the authors present phylogenomic evidence about the evolution of the DELAY OF GERMINATION1 (DOG1) gene family, widely known for controlling seed dormancy, reserve accumulation, and desiccation tolerance. Members of this gene family can be traced back to the Zygnematophyceae, the sister algal lineage of land plants. Species from this group also have ancestral forms of genes that participate in seed dormancy and interact with DOG1, such as PYR1-LIKE. Therefore, phylogenomics promise to make use of this exciting scenario and provide fascinating insights into the evolution of the seed program. Still, the applications of phylogenomics go beyond the description of gene evolution, as it can guide future genetic studies and the development of crop technologies. (Summary by Carlos A. Ordóñez-Parra @caordonezparra) Seed Sci. Res. 10.1017/S0960258522000046