Collaborations among biologists and computational and information scientists are already redefining the frontiers of our understanding of plant function. Additionally, engaging chemists, mathematicians, engineers, geologists, physicists, and meteorologists, among others, will be required if we are to attain the goals outlined in The Decadal Vision.

To build the skills sets and knowledge base necessary to support the bioeconomy as it grows rapidly beyond its traditional products of food, feed, fuel, and fiber we need to implement new paradigms that blur disciplinary lines. The Phenome 2017 conference, and the ones that will follow, are vital steps in developing this important path of learning and interdisciplinary collaboration that is poised to solve critical social issues.