How genomics can help biodiversity conservation

European Reference Genome Atlas Consortium, Kathrin Theissinger, Carlos Fernandes, Giulio Formenti, Iliana Bista, Paul R Berg, Christoph Bleidorn, Aureliano Bombarely, Angelica Crottini, Guido R Gallo, José A Godoy, Sissel Jentoft, Joanna Malukiewicz, Alice Mouton, Rebekah A Oomen, Sadye Paez, Per J Palsbøll, Christophe Pampoulie, María J Ruiz-López, Simona SecomandiHannes Svardal, Constantina Theofanopoulou, Jan de Vries, Ann-Marie Waldvogel, Guojie Zhang, Erich D Jarvis, Miklós Bálint, Claudio Ciofi, Robert M Waterhouse, Camila J Mazzoni, Jacob Höglund, Sonja Vernes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The availability of public genomic resources can greatly assist biodiversity assessment, conservation, and restoration efforts by providing evidence for scientifically informed management decisions. Here we survey the main approaches and applications in biodiversity and conservation genomics, considering practical factors, such as cost, time, prerequisite skills, and current shortcomings of applications. Most approaches perform best in combination with reference genomes from the target species or closely related species. We review case studies to illustrate how reference genomes can facilitate biodiversity research and conservation across the tree of life. We conclude that the time is ripe to view reference genomes as fundamental resources and to integrate their use as a best practice in conservation genomics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-559
Number of pages15
JournalTrends in Genetics
Issue number7
Early online date16 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • Conservation of Natural Resources
  • Biodiversity
  • Genomics
  • Genome


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