4 September 2019 – The Scientist ArticleNasonia is featured in an article in The Scientist on new emerging model organisms.

20 August 2019 – Selfish Genetic Elements : The history and status of current research on Selfish Genetic Elements at the University of Rochester is featured in the Rochester Review.

The online version of the story is here:  , and a pdf version is available here.

If you’re interested in an electronic version of the entire issue, you can find it here:

Here is a video link :

Summer 2019 – Undergraduate Summer Research:  We have several outstanding undergraduate researches who are conducting summer research on diverse topics. These Include

  • Sammy Cheng:  Sammy is investigating lateral gene transfers from bacteria into insect genomes.  He has exciting results on LGTs in thrips and the stinkbug.  Sammy received a summer research fellowship for his work.
  • Hannah Cook:  Hannah is studying the distribution and dynamics of Nasonia species in nature, through a combination of field and archival work.  She has found dramatic changes in species distributions since field work was begun on Nasonia in the lab in the mid 1980’s.  Hannah received support from the Biology Department for her work.
  • Austin Varela:  Austin is investigating the coevolution of nuclear and mitochondrial encoded proteins, and using evolutionary rate correlations in network analyses and to detect interactions within proteins. Austin received a deKiewiet Summer fellowship for his work.
  • Shaan Bhambra: Shaan is a summer research volunteer who has been working on fine-scale mapping of genes involved in learning differences between Nasonia species.
  • Jordyn Condrate:  Jodyn is a summer research volunteer who is also working of field biology of Nasonia.

2019 – Recent Papers:   Here is a link to Jack’s Google Scholar page that shows recent (2019) published papers

Among these are papers on the milkweed bug genome (Panfilio et al 2019), which includes our work on interesting lateral gene transfers in the insect,  a review with colleagues on mitonuclear conflict (Havird et al 2019), the genome of the flesh fly Sarcophaga bullata, a host of Nasonia wasps (Martinson et al 2019), the effect of Nasonia venom on sugar metabolism in human renal cells (Siebert et al 2019), a theoretical analysis of genetic incompatibilities between nuclear and mitochondrial genes (Telschow et al 2019),  analysis of the intriguing Nasonia venom Y gene (Martinson et al 2019), a cool paper (Yan et al 2019) on evolution rate correlations among interacting  mitochondrial encoded and nuclear encoded proteins, and how evolutionary rate correlations can be used to discovery new nuclear-mitochondrial interactions, and several bioRxiv papers on topics ranging from the genetics of disruption in head shape in hybrid insects to insect genomics (and lateral gene transfers), to analyses of sex biased genes networks.  Citations and links are provided below.


  1. Martinson, E, AS Siebert, M He, Y Kelkar, L Doucette, & JH Werren. 2019. Evaluating the evolution and function of the dynamic Venom Y protein in ectoparasitoid waspsInsect Molecular Biology.
  2. Siebert, AS, LA Doucette, PJ Simpson-Haidaris, & JH Werren. 2019. Parasitoid wasp venom elevates sorbitol and alters expression of metabolic genes in human kidney cells. Toxicon: 161:57-64.
  3. Yan, Z, Q Fang Y Tian, F Wang, X Chen, JH Werren & G Ye. 2018. Mitochondrial DNA and their nuclear copies in the parasitic wasp Pteromalus puparum: A comparative analysis in Chalcidoidea. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules.121:572-579.
  4. Panfilio, KA, IM Jentzsch, JB Benoit, D Erezyilmaz, Y Suzuki, …JH Werren, …& S Richards. 2019. Molecular evolutionary trends and feeding ecology diversification in the Hemiptera, anchored by the milkweed bug genome. Genome Biology: 20:64
  5. Telschow, A, J. Gadau, JH Werren, and Y Kobayashi. 2019. Genetic incompatibilities between mitochondria and nuclear genes: effect on gene flow and speciation. Frontiers in Genetics: 10: 62. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2019.00062.
  6. Rago, A, JH Werren, & JK Colbourne. Sex biased expression and co-expression networks in development using the hymenopteran Nasonia vitripennis. bioRxiv, 540336. doi:
  7. Havird, JC, ES Forstyth, AM Williams, JH Werren, DK Dowling and DB Sloan. 2019. Mitonuclear conflict: When good genomes go bad. Current Biology: 29 (11): R496-R511
  8. Yan, Z, G. Ye and JH Werren. 2019. Evolutionary rate correlation between mitochondria and mitochondria-associated nuclear-encoded proteins in insects. Molecular Biology & Evolution: 36 (5):1022-1036. msz036,
  9. Tvedte, Eric, KKO Walden, KE McElroy, JH Werren, AA Forbes, GR Hood, JM Logsdon, JL Feder, HM Robertson. 2019. Genome of the parasitoid wasp Diachasma alloeum, an emerging model for ecological speciation and transitions to asexual reproduction. bioRxiv, 545277 doi:
  10. Martinson, EO, J Peyton, YD Kelkar, EC Jennings, JB Benoit, JH Werren & DL Denlinger 2019. Genome and Ontogenetic-Based Transcriptomic Analyses of the Flesh Fly, Sarcophaga bullata. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics, g3. 400148.2019.
  11. Pia U. Olafson, Serap Aksoy,…John H. Werren,…& Joshua Benoit. 2019. Functional genomics of the stable fly, Stomoxys calcitrans, reveals mechanisms underlying reproduction, host interactions, and novel targets for pest control. BioRxiv 623009; doi: