Genomic Tools in Biological Invasions: Current State and Future Frontiers
Human activities are accelerating rates of biological invasions and climate-driven range expansions globally, yet we understand little of how genomic processes facilitate the invasion process. Although most of the literature has focused on underlying phenotypic correlates of invasiveness, advances in genomic technologies are showing a strong link between genomic variation and invasion success. Here, we consider the ability of genomic tools and technologies to (i) inform mechanistic understanding of biological invasions and (ii) solve real-world issues in predicting and managing biological invasions. For both, we examine the current state of the field and discuss how genomics can be leveraged in the future. In addition, we make recommendations pertinent to broader research issues, such as data sovereignty, metadata standards, collaboration, and science communication best practices that will require concerted efforts from the global invasion genomics community.
Acknowledgements: We wish to thank the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution—the principal funder of the Regional Meeting on The Role of the Genome in Biological Invasion (Invasion Genomics), which was held in Hamilton, Aotearoa New Zealand from November 6–9, 2022. We also wish to thank Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, Environmental Research Institute (Te Tumu Whakaora Taiao; The University of Waikato), Genomics Aotearoa, and The University of Waikato (Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato) for additional financial support associated with the meeting; and Portuguese National Funds (research contract 2020.00823.CEECIND/CP1601/CT0003 to A.C.). Finally, we thank all participants at the aforementioned regional meeting, who contributed thoughts and discussion that helped to shape this review.