Basic Information

Research Interests:

Transposable elements in plants with a focus on the characterization of active transposable elements and a determination of how they contribute to genome evolution and adaptation. To address these questions we use a combination of genetic, biochemical and computational approaches.

  • NSF Plant Genome Research Project: GEPR: Maize Transposable Elements: Discovery, Description and Functional Characterization. 9/1/06 - 8/31/11.
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute: HHMI Professors: The Dynamic Genome: Teaching Evolution to Undergraduates. 9/1/06 - 8/31/10.
Selected Publications:
  • Yang, G., Holligan,D., Feschotte, C., Hancock, C.N., Wessler, S.R. (2009) Tuned for transposition: molecular determinants underlying the hyperactivity of a Stowaway MITE. Science 325: 1391-1394.
  • Naito, K., Zhang, F., Tsukiyama,T., Saito,H., Hancock, C.N., Richardson, A.O., Okumoto,Y., Tanisaka,T., Wessler, S.R. (2009) Unexpected consequences of a sudden and massive transposon amplification on rice gene expression. Nature 461: 131-134.
  • Han, Y., Burnette, J., Wessler, S.R. (2009) TARGeT–a web based pipeline for retrieving and characterizing gene and transposable element families from genomic sequence. Nucl. Acid Res 37,11: e78.
  • Hancock, C.N., Zhang, F. and Wessler, S.R. (2009) mPing transposition in yeast provides an assay to examine the PIF/Harbinger superfamily of transposable elements. Mobile DNA (in press)
  • Wei, F. et al (2009) Detailed analysis of a contiguous 22-Mb region of the maize genome. PLoS Genetics (in press)
  • Schnable, et al (Maize Genome Sequencing Consortium (2009) The B73 maize genome: complexity, diversity and dynamics. Science (in press)
  • Yang, G., Zhang, F., Wessler, S.R. (2007) Transposition of the rice MITE mPing in Arabidopsis thaliana. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci .104: 10962-10967.
  • Nato, K., Cho, E., Yang, G., Campbell, M., Yano, K., Okumoto, Y., Tanisaka, T. and
  • Wessler,S.R. (2006) Dramatic amplification of a rice transposable element during recent domestication. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 103: 17620-17625.
  • Holligan, D., Zhang, X., Jiang, N., Pritham, E.J., Wessler, SR (2006) The transposable element landscape of the model legume Lotus japonicus. Genetics 174: 2215-2228.
  • Jiang, N. Zhang, X., Feschotte, C., Wessler, S.R. (2004) Using rice to understand the nature and origin of miniature inverted repeat transposable elements. Curr. Op. Plant Biol 7: 115-119.

Ph.D Plant Molecular Biology, Cornell University 1980