Plant Evolutionary Genetics
We are biologists who seek to understand and explain biodiversity. To reach this goal, we challenge hypotheses with simple models, analyses of DNA sequence variation, information on traits, and manipulative studies in natural populations. These efforts help to elucidate the processes that shape patterns of organismal diversity in the wild.
Much of our work aims to understand trait diversity in flowering plants. These organisms display tremendous variability in the form and arrangement of their reproductive structures. While floral traits have long been associated with the benefits of cross-pollination in nature, we are interested in the challenges faced by populations when cross-pollination is ineffective or costly. Most of our research focuses on three major themes: 1) mechanisms that facilitate or constrain the evolution of self-fertilization; 2) the interplay between breeding systems and geography; and 3) the evolution of reproductive traits when diverse lineages co-occur or hybridize in nature.
To prospective students: Students with broad interests in biology, an independent streak, and curiosity in the feedback between theory and empirical work are always welcome. Members of the lab encourage each other to take a question-driven approach that furthers our collective understanding of evolutionary processes.
Koski MH, DL Grossenbacher, JW Busch and LF Galloway. 2017. A geographic cline in the ability to self-fertilize is unrelated to the pollination environment. Ecology 98:2930-2939
Dixon AL and JW Busch. 2017. Common garden test of range limits as predicted by a species distribution model in the annual plant Mimulus bicolor. American Journal of Botany 104:817-827.
Grossenbacher DL, Y Brandvain, J Auld, M Burd, PO Cheptou et al. 2017. Self-compatibility is over-represented on islands. New Phytologist 215:469-478.
Layman NC, MTR Fernando, CR Herlihy and JW Busch. 2017. Costs of selfing prevent the spread of a self-compatibility mutation that causes reproductive assurance. Evolution 71:884-897.
Norton NA, MTR Fernando, CR Herlihy and JW Busch. 2015. Reproductive character displacement shapes a spatially structured petal color polymorphism in Leavenworthia stylosa. Evolution 69:1191-1207.
Dixon AL, CR Herlihy and JW Busch. 2013. Demographic and population-genetic tests provide mixed support for the abundant centre hypothesis in the endemic plant Leavenworthia stylosa. Molecular Ecology 22:1777-1791.
Igic B and JW Busch. 2013. Is self-fertilization an evolutionary dead end? New Phytologist 198:386- 397.
Herman AC, JW Busch and DJ Schoen. 2012. Phylogeny of Leavenworthia S-alleles suggests unidirectional mating system evolution and enhanced positive selection following an ancient population bottleneck. Evolution 66:1849-1861.
Busch JW, and LF Delph. 2012. The relative importance of reproductive assurance and automatic selection as hypotheses for the evolution of self-fertilization. Annals of Botany 109:553-562.
Busch JW. 2011. Demography, pollination, and Baker’s law. Evolution 65:1511-1513.
Busch JW, S Joly and DJ Schoen. 2011. Demographic signatures accompanying the evolution of selfing in Leavenworthia alabamica. Molecular Biology and Evolution 28:1717-1729.
Busch JW, CR Herlihy, L Gunn and WJ Werner. 2010. Mixed mating in a recently derived self-compatible population of Leavenworthia alabamica (Brassicaceae). American Journal of Botany 97:1005-1013.
Busch JW, S Joly and DJ Schoen. 2010. Does mate limitation in self-incompatible species promote the evolution of selfing? The case of Leavenworthia alabamica. Evolution 64:1657-1670.
Schoen DJ and JW Busch. 2009. The evolution of dominance in sporophytic self-incompatibility systems. II. Mate-availability and recombination. Evolution 63:2099-2113.
Busch JW, J Sharma and DJ Schoen. 2008. Molecular characterization of Lal2, an SRK-like gene linked to the S-locus in the wild mustard Leavenworthia alabamica. Genetics 178: 2055-2067.
Busch JW and DJ Schoen. 2008. The evolution of self-incompatibility when mates are limiting. Trends in Plant Science 13:128-136.