Owing to decreasing costs and increased efficiency, it is now conceivable that conservation genomic information can be used to improve the effectiveness of recovery programs for many, if not most, threatened plants. We suggest that a simple genomic study be viewed as an initial step in conservation decision-making, as it informs long-term recovery efforts in various ways. We present biodiversity managers and conservation biologists with a simple, standardized workflow for genomic research that can guide efficient collection, analysis and application of genomic information across disparate threatened plants. Using two case studies, ‘Banksia vincentia’ and Daphnandra johnsonii, we demonstrate how a single round of genotyping by sequencing – a one-time cost – produces multiple directly applicable benefits, and how generating genomic information as early as possible can enhance conservation outcomes. We argue for a shift away from asking whether genomic information is needed or justified, and a shift towards consideration of the questions that need to be addressed. Such questions should aimed at cost-effectively guiding multiple practical aspects of a threatened plant's management plan. The workflow presented here should help relevant stakeholders design a sampling strategy that directly suits their questions and needs.
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- Conservation genomics
- Genetic rescue
- Management actions
- Seed banking