In rare circumstances, scientists have been able to revive dormant propagules from ancestral populations and rear them with their descendants to make inferences about evolutionary responses to environmental change. Although this is a powerful approach to directly assess microevolution, it has previously depended entirely upon fortuitous conditions to preserve ancestral material. We propose a coordinated effort to collect, preserve, and archive genetic materials today for future studies of evolutionary change—a “resurrection paradigm.” The availability of ancestral material that is systematically collected and intentionally stored using best practices will greatly expand our ability to illuminate microevolutionary patterns and processes and to predict ongoing responses of species to global change. In the workshop “Project Baseline,” evolutionary biologists and seed storage experts met to discuss establishing a coordinated effort to implement the resurrection paradigm.
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Vol. 58 • No. 9