Evolutionary biology is in an exciting era, in which powerful genomic tools make the answers accessible to long-standing questions about variation, adaptation and speciation. The availability of a suite of genomic resources, a shared knowledge base and a long history of study have made the phenotypically diverse plant genus Mimulus an important system for understanding ecological and evolutionary processes. An international Mimulus Research Meeting was held at Duke University in June 2014 to discuss developments in ecological and evolutionary genetic studies in Mimulus. Here, we report major recent discoveries presented at the meeting that use genomic approaches to advance our understanding of three major themes: the parallel genetic basis of adaptation; the ecological genomics of speciation; and the evolutionary significance of structural genetic variation. We also suggest future research directions for studies of Mimulus and highlight challenges faced when developing new ecological and evolutionary model systems.
- parallel evolution
- structural variation