Using resurrection experiments to illuminate multiple dimensions of evolution
The resurrection approach is a method of studying evolution directly by comparing ancestors and descendants under common conditions. It is particularly useful for distinguishing evolution from plasticity, and is especially powerful when used in conjunction with other techniques such as quantitative genetics and genomics. This approach can help reveal the rate of evolution as well as evolutionary constraints, which is useful for predicting responses to environmental changes such as climate change. In addition, resurrection genomics can be used to help determine the genetic basis of evolution.
I review the current literature on the resurrection approach, and provide examples of how this approach has been used to illuminate evolution. I highlight one example where this approach has been used to demonstrate an evolutionary response to a climatic change in an annual plant, and has revealed the genetic basis of this natural evolutionary event. I also discuss how the Project Baseline collection provides a resource for using the resurrection approach to study evolution. In conclusion, the resurrection approach has strong potential to augment our understanding of evolutionary processes.