Perspectives on Ecological and Evolutionary Systems Biology

Christina L. Richards, Yoshie Hanzawa, Manpreet S. Katari, Ian M. Ehrenreich, Kathleen E. Engelmann, Michael D. Purugganan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Understanding the emergent properties inherent to genome function requires an integrated approach of data from all levels of biology. Molecular biology data alone does not describe the complex interacting functions of organisms, while studies at the level of ecological communities and ecosystems have provided little insight into the molecular underpinnings of adaptation.Merging ecology and evolution into systems biology allows researchers to exploit a wealth of genomic information by incorporating the natural phenotypic, genetic and epigenetic diversity of model systems as well as their diverse ecologies and evolutionary histories. Here, we suggest that systems biology could more fully address the question of how organisms respond to environment if studies incorporated real field settings or experimental manipulation of relevant environmental factors. In addition, although the application of genomic approaches to non-model systems has been slow, we highlight some of the significant progress that has been made. Ecological and evolutionary systems biology will lead to a much more sophisticated understanding of the origins and functions of biological diversity, and serve as a critical component in deciphering how organisms respond to complex environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPlant Systems Biology
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781444312249
ISBN (Print)9781405162838
StatePublished - Aug 18 2009


  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Drosophila species
  • Ecological genomics
  • Ecological transcriptome
  • Epigenetics
  • Experimental design
  • Flowering time network
  • Fundulus heteroclitus
  • Natural environment
  • Non-model systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Perspectives on Ecological and Evolutionary Systems Biology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this