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Title: The Biological Hierarchy, Time, and Temporal ‘Omics in Evolutionary Biology: A Perspective
Abstract

Sequencing data—genomics, transcriptomics, epigenomics, proteomics, and metabolomics—have revolutionized biological research, enabling a more detailed study of processes, ranging from subcellular to evolutionary, that drive biological organization. These processes, collectively, are responsible for generating patterns of phenotypic variation and can operate over dramatically different timescales (milliseconds to billions of years). While researchers often study phenotypic variation at specific levels of biological organization to isolate processes operating at that particular scale, the varying types of sequence data, or ‘omics, can also provide complementary inferences to link molecular and phenotypic variation to produce an integrated view of evolutionary biology, ranging from molecular pathways to speciation. We briefly describe how ‘omics has been used across biological levels and then demonstrate the utility of integrating different types of sequencing data across multiple biological levels within the same study to better understand biological phenomena. However, single-time-point studies cannot evaluate the temporal dynamics of these biological processes. Therefore, we put forward temporal ‘omics as a framework that can better enable researchers to study the temporal dynamics of target processes. Temporal ‘omics is not infallible, as the temporal sampling regime directly impacts inferential ability. Thus, we also discuss the role the temporal sampling regime plays in deriving inferences about the environmental conditions driving biological processes and provide examples that demonstrate the impact of the sampling regime on biological inference. Finally, we forecast the future of temporal ‘omics by highlighting current methodological advancements that will enable temporal ‘omics to be extended across species and timescales. We extend this discussion to using temporal multi-omics to integrate across the biological hierarchy to evaluate and link the temporal dynamics of processes that generate phenotypic variation.

 
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NSF-PAR ID:
10388567
Author(s) / Creator(s):
;
Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Integrative And Comparative Biology
Volume:
62
Issue:
6
ISSN:
1540-7063
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 1872-1886
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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