Wen-Juan Ma

Wen-Juan Ma
University of Kansas | KU · Department of Molecular Biosciences

PhD Evolutionary Genetics | Evolutionary Genomics
Evolutionary genetics|comparative and functional genomics|sex chromosome evolution|sex determination|meiotic drive|asex

About

59
Publications
8,649
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Introduction
I am an evolutionary genetist & evolutionary genomist. My research lies at the intersection of evolutionary ecology, evolutionary genetics, comparative and functional genomics, strong interests in the fields of sex chromosomes, sex determination, asexuality and meiotic drive. I use a variety of organism: amphibians, plants, fungi, parasitoid wasps, Drosophila to answer the question. More research details see webpage: http://www.wenjuanma.com
Additional affiliations
August 2020 - present
University of Kansas
Position
  • PostDoc Position
August 2018 - October 2018
Université Paris-Sud 11
Position
  • Visiting Scholar
Description
  • Collaboration on project of genomics and degeneration of mating-type chromosomes in anther smut fungi.
June 2018 - July 2020
Amherst College
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Comparative genomics and temporal degeneration of non-recombining mating-type chromosomes in anther smut fungi Microbotryum
Education
October 2009 - December 2014
University of Groningen
Field of study
  • Project: Genetic and evolutionary consequences of Wolbachia-induced parthenogenesis
July 2006 - July 2009
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Field of study
  • Ecology and Evolution
September 2002 - July 2006
Nanyang Normal University
Field of study
  • Biological Sciences

Publications

Publications (59)
Preprint
Full-text available
CAREER grant 2047052 to RLU. Meiotic drivers are selfish genetic elements that tinker with gametogenesis to bias their own transmission into the next generation of offspring. Such tinkering can have significant consequences on gametogenesis and end up hampering the spread of the driver. In Drosophila affinis, sex-ratio meiotic drive is caused by an...
Preprint
Full-text available
Meiotic drivers are selfish genetic elements that tinker with gametogenesis to bias their own transmission into the next generation of offspring. Such tinkering can have significant consequences on gametogenesis and end up hampering the spread of the driver. In Drosophila affinis, sex-ratio meiotic drive is caused by an X-linked complex that, when...
Article
Full-text available
Frogs are ideal organisms for studying sex chromosome evolution because of their diversity in sex chromosome differentiation and sex-determination systems. We review 222 anuran frogs, spanning ~220 Myr of divergence, with characterized sex chromosomes, and discuss their evolution, phylogenetic distribution and transitions between homomorphic and he...
Article
Full-text available
During the transition from sexual to asexual reproduction, a suite of reproduction‐related sexual traits become superfluous, and may be selected against if costly. Female functional virginity refers to asexual females resisting to mate or not fertilizing eggs after mating. These traits appear to be among the first that evolve during transitions fro...
Preprint
Full-text available
During the transition from sexual to asexual reproduction, a suite of reproduction-related sexual traits become superfluous, and may be selected against if costly. Female functional virginity refers to asexual females resisting to mate or not fertilizing eggs after mating. These traits appear to be among the first that evolve during the gradual tra...
Article
Full-text available
Degenerative mutations in non-recombining regions, such as on sex chromosomes, may lead to differential expression between alleles if mutations occur stochastically in one or the other allele. Reduced allelic expression due to degeneration has indeed been suggested to occur in various sex-chromosome systems. However, whether an association occurs b...
Article
Full-text available
Degenerative mutations in non-recombining regions, such as on sex chromosomes, may lead to differential expression between alleles if mutations occur stochastically in one or the other allele. Reduced allelic expression due to degeneration has indeed been suggested to occur in various sex-chromosome systems. However, whether an association occurs b...
Article
Full-text available
In systems with early stage sex chromosome evolution, climate gradients can largely explain changes in the sex‐determining systems (i.e. genetic or environmental factors). However, in the common frog Rana temporaria, Phillips et al. (2019) found that phylogeography, rather than elevation (used as a proxy for climate), was associated with homomorphi...
Article
Full-text available
The canonical model of sex‐chromosome evolution assigns a key role to sexually antagonistic (SA) genes on the arrest of recombination and ensuing degeneration of Y chromosomes. This assumption cannot be tested in organisms with highly differentiated sex chromosomes, such as mammals or birds, owing to the lack of polymorphism. Fixation of SA alleles...
Article
Full-text available
Non-recombining sex chromosomes are widely found to be more differentiated than autosomes among closely related species, due to smaller effective population size and/or to a disproportionaly large X-effect in reproductive isolation. While fungal mating-type chromosomes can also display large non-recombining regions, their levels of differentiation...
Article
Full-text available
Non-recombining sex chromosomes are widely found to be more differentiated than autosomes among closely related species, due to smaller effective population size and/or to a disproportionaly large X-effect in reproductive isolation. While fungal mating-type chromosomes can also display large non-recombining regions, their levels of differentiation...
Preprint
Full-text available
The canonical model of sex-chromosome evolution assigns a key role to sexually antagonistic (SA) genes on the arrest of recombination and ensuing degeneration of Y chromosomes. This assumption cannot be tested in organisms with highly differentiated sex chromosomes, such as mammals or birds, owing to the lack of polymorphism. Fixation of SA alleles...
Article
Full-text available
Background and Aims Polyploidy has played a major role in the origin of new plant species, probably because of the expansion of polyploid populations in the species' ecological niche, and because reproductive isolation can be established between a new polyploid population and its diploid progenitor species. It is well established that most polyplo...
Preprint
Full-text available
In animals and plants, differential expression of genes on sex chromosomes is widespread and it is usually considered to result from sexually antagonistic selection; however differential expression can also be caused by asymmetrical sequence degeneration in non-recombining sex chromosomes, which has been very little studied. The anther-smut fungus...
Article
Full-text available
The canonical model of sex-chromosome evolution predicts that, as recombination is suppressed along sex chromosomes, gametologs will progressively differentiate, eventually becoming heteromorphic. However, there are numerous examples of homomorphic sex chromosomes across the tree of life. This homomorphy has been suggested to result from frequent s...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The patterns of gene expression on highly differentiated sex chromosomes differ drastically from those on autosomes, due to sex-specific patterns of selection and inheritance. As a result, X chromosomes are often enriched in female-biased genes (feminization) and Z chromosomes in male-biased genes (masculinization). However, it is not...
Article
Full-text available
Sex-biased genes are central to the study of sexual selection, sexual antagonism, and sex chromosome evolution. We describe a comprehensive de novo assembled transcriptome in the common frog Rana temporaria based on five developmental stages and three adult tissues from both sexes, obtained from a population with karyotypically homomorphic but gene...
Article
Full-text available
Sex-determination mechanisms vary both within and among populations of common frogs, opening opportunities to investigate the molecular pathways and ultimate causes shaping their evolution. We investigated the association between sex-chromosome differentiation (as assayed from microsatellites) and polymorphism at the candidate sex-determining gene...
Article
Full-text available
Female-producing parthenogenesis can be induced by endosymbionts that increase their transmission by manipulating host reproduction. Our literature survey indicates that such endosymbiont-induced parthenogenesis is known or suspected in 124 host species from seven different arthropod taxa, with Wolbachia as the most frequent endosymbiont (in 56-75%...
Data
Appendix S1. Text S1. Seven scaffolds from the draft genome of Rana temporaria, containing, respectively, the five Dmrt1 exons, Kank1 intron 1, and Dmrt3 intron 1. Text S2. Transcript sequences of R. temporaria Dmrt1 in five froglets. Text S3. Concatenated sequences of three Dmrt1 polymorphic sites for 26 individuals from Ammarnäs and Tvedöra.
Data
Appendix S2 Table S1. Primer pairs and PCR conditions for amplifying Dmrt1 transcript and individual exons. Table S2. Primers pairs and PCR conditions for genotyping. Table S3. Between‐sex F ST values in Ammarnäs and Tvedöra.
Article
Full-text available
Patterns of sex-chromosome differentiation and gonadal development have been shown to vary among populations of Rana temporaria along a latitudinal transect in Sweden. Frogs from the northern-boreal population of Ammarnäs displayed well-differentiated X and Y haplotypes, early gonadal differentiation, and a perfect match between phenotypic and geno...
Article
Flowers with only one sexual function typically result from the developmental suppression of the other. A recent study that shows how this is achieved has important implications for models of the evolution of separate sexes in plants.
Article
Full-text available
Haplodiploidy, where females develop from diploid, fertilized eggs and males from haploid, unfertilized eggs, is abundant in some insect lineages. Some species in these lineages reproduce by thelytoky that is caused by infection with endosymbionts: infected females lay haploid eggs that undergo diploidization and develop into females, while males a...
Article
Full-text available
Trait decay may occur when selective pressures shift, owing to changes in environment or life style, rendering formerly adaptive traits non-functional or even maladaptive. It remains largely unknown if such decay would stem from multiple mutations with small effects or rather involve few loci with major phenotypic effects. Here, we investigate the...
Article
Full-text available
Arthropods exhibit a large variety of sex determination systems both at the chromosomal and molecular level. Male heterogamety, female heterogamety, and haplodiploidy occur frequently, but partially different genes are involved. Endosymbionts, such as Wolbachia, Cardinium,Rickettsia, and Spiroplasma, can manipulate host reproduction and sex determi...
Article
Full-text available
An attractive way to improve our understanding of sex determination evolution is to study the underlying mechanisms in closely related species and in a phylogenetic perspective. Hymenopterans are well suited owing to the diverse sex determination mechanisms, including different types of Complementary Sex Determination (CSD) and maternal control sex...
Data
Full-text available
Flow cytometric DNA-histograms of a representative diploid female (a), diploid male (b) and haploid male (c) in A. citri. On the y axis is the number of nuclei, and the x axis is the fluorescence intensity in a log scale, which converts to ploidy in this figure. An excitation wave length of 488 nm and a band pass filter of 585 nm were used to detec...
Data
Comparison of sex ratio (SR), brood size (BS) and pupal mortality (PM) between outcrosses and multiple generations of inbreeding in Asobara tabida, A. japonica, A. citri and A. pleuralis . (DOCX)
Data
Individual-based simulations. (DOCX)
Data
Collection sites and rearing conditions of the four Asobara species used in this study. (DOC)
Article
Full-text available
This study investigates dioecious fig species using a pollinator introduction experiment. Our aims were to determine: (1) whether there was a significant difference in foundress distribution between sexes per fig species; (2) whether fig size and foundress number affect reproductive success of dioecious figs; and (3) who is the ‘controlling partner...
Article
Full-text available
The fig/fig wasp mutualism has always been considered as one of the classic material on the study of co-evolution between plants and animals. The reproduction success of the two partners not only links closely, but has conflicts too. Until now, the study on fig/fig wasp's reproduction conflict almost concentrates on the monoecious figs; study on di...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract  Fig trees are important components of tropical forests, because their fruits are eaten by so many vertebrates, but they depend on pollinating fig wasps to produce mature fruits. Disturbance to habitat structure can have a major impact on insect diversity and composition, potentially reducing fruit yields. We investigated the impact of hab...
Article
Full-text available
Figs and fig wasps are classical materials for research on plant-animal coevolution. There are both monoecious and dioecious figs. The evolutionary mechanism of Ficus has attracted many biologists. Most recently, Chen [See Formosan Entomologist (2005) 25, 119-125] deduced that Ficus evolved from monoecious to dioecious, based on comparison of style...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
We aim to: 1) Identify sex-linked markers in four dioecious Mercurialis species; 2) Understand the phylogenetic relationshiop of Y-chromosome across Mercurialis species complex, to identify Y chromosomes in Mercurialis dioecious clades and specifically the Y chromosome in 6X and its origin. In addition, we also aim to investigate the genetic differentiation between 6n P+ and 6n P-, also possible the introgression and origin of 6n P+.
Project
A few theoretical works have modelled the loss of functional genes underlying sex chromosome degeneration. Yet only recently have empirical studies begun to provide substantial evidence that evaluate the model predictions. Furthermore, the sequential dynamics of degeneration remains largely unknown, such as accumulation of transposable elements, reduced gene expression efficiency, accelerated evolutionary rate, accumulation of stop codons and frame-shift mutations. We aim to address dynamics of the degeneration processes and quantify each form of degeneration in a systematic frame across sex chromosomes with various evolutionary stages.
Project
In this project, we aim to understand the evolutionary forces and features for the early stage of sex chromosome evolution, and possible sexualization of sex chromosomes (e.g. enrichment of female-biased genes on X chromosomes).