Jeanne Romero-Severson Professor

Quantitative and population genetics in natural populations
 Jeanne Romero-Severson

Research Interests:

In 100 years we have peered at the natural world and managed to build a model of what we see, from simple Mendelian phenotypes to genetic control systems of exquisite precision to the improbably noisy biochemical reactions that produce this precision. In my program we use this accumulated knowledge to study the genetics of natural populations, from the native forest trees of eastern North America to insect vectors of human disease and most recently, beneficial seed endophytes.

Our basic research program focuses on:

  • Population dynamics, spatial genetic structure, gene flow, adaptive genetic variation and spontaneous interspecific hybridization, primarily in Quercus, but also in Castanea, Juglans and Fraxinus.
  • Genetic architecture and speciation mechanisms in the genus Quercus
  • Gene discovery and population processes in culicine and anopheline mosquitos

The tree genetic Core Facility does marker development and genotyping for both natural populations of forest trees and cultivated nut trees. We focus on scalable genotyping approaches that suit both small growers and large projects, and can be used to answer both applied and basic questions.



  • Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame 2003-Present
  • Director, Tree Genetics Core Facility, University of Notre Dame 2008-Present
  • Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame 2003-2013
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources
    and Department of Agronomy, Purdue University 1993-2003
  • Visiting Scientist, Pioneer Hi-bred Seeds International 1998-1999
  • Product Manager, Linkage Genetics/Perkin-Elmer Agricultural Genetics/ABI 1995-1998
  • Director of Biometrics, Mycogen Plant Sciences 1993-1995
  • Research Manager, Agrigenetics 1990-1993
  • Senior Scientist II, Agrigenetics 1988-1990
  • Senior Scientist I, Agrigenetics 1986-1988
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Agrigenetics 1985
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, USDA-APHIS 1983-1984
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison Ph.D. Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics 1984
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison M.S. Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics 1975
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison B.S. Molecular Biology 1974


Recent Papers:

  • Meireles JE, Beulke B, Borkowski DS, Romero-Severson J, Cavender-Bares, J. Balancing selection maintains diversity in a cold tolerance gene in broadly distributed live oaks. Genome (in press).
  • Borkowski D, Hoban SM, Chatwin W, Romero-Severson J; 2017 Rangewide population differentiation and population substructure in Quercus rubra L. Tree Genetics and Genomes 13:67. 1148-6
  • Konar A, Choudhury O, Bullis R, Fiedler F, Kruser JM, Stephens MT, Gailing O, Schlarbaum SE, Coggeshall MV, Staton ME, Emrich SE, Romero-Severson J. 2017 High-quality genetic mapping with ddRADseq in the non-model tree Quercus rubra. BMC Genomics 18:417. 3765-8
  • Staton, Margaret, Best, Teodora, Khodwekar, Sudhir, Owusu, Sandra, Xu, Tao, Xu, Yi, Jennings, Tara, Cronn, Richard, Arumuganathan, A. Kathiravetpilla, Coggeshall, Mark, Gailing, Oliver, Liang, Haiying, Romero-Severson, Jeanne, Schlarbaum, Scott, Carlson, John E.. 2016 Preliminary Genomic Characterization of Ten Hardwood Tree Species from Multiplexed Low Coverage Whole Genome Sequencing. PLoS ONE 10(12): e0145031. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0145031
  • Smith Hilary A, White BJ, Kundert P, Changde C, Romero-Severson J, Andolfatto P, Besansky N. 2015 Genome-wide QTL mapping of saltwater tolerance in sibling species of Anopheles(malaria vector) mosquitoes. Heredity 115: 471-479. doi: 10.1007/s10142-014- 0376-1s
  • Laricchia KM, McCleary TS, Hoban SM, Borkowski D, Romero-Severson J. 2015 Chloroplast haplotypes suggest preglacial differentiation and separate postglacial migration paths for the threatened North American forest tree Juglans cinerea L Tree Genetics & Genomes 11 doi:10.1007/s11295-015- 0852-3
  • Andi G. Noakes*, Teodora Best, Margaret E. Staton, Jennifer Koch, Jeanne Romero-Severson. 2014. Cross amplification of 15 EST-SSR markers in the genus Fraxinus. Conservation Genetics Resources 6:969-970
  • Susanta K. Behura, Consuelo Gomez-Machorro, Becky deBruyn, Diane D. Lovin, Brent W. Harker, Jeanne Romero-Severson, Akio Mori, David W. Severson. 2014. Influence of mosquito genotype on transcriptional response to dengue virus infection. Functional & Integrative Genomics14:581-589
  • Borkowski DS*, McCleary TS, McAllister M**, Romero-Severson J. Primers for 52 polymorphic regions in the Quercus rubra chloroplast, 47 of which amplify across eleven tracheophyte clades. Tree Genetics & Genomes 10: 885-893
  • Hoban SM*, McCleary TS, Schlarbaum SE, Romero-Severson J. Spatial genetic structure in 21 populations of butternut, a temperate forest tree (Juglans cinerea L.), is correlated to spatial arrangement, habitat, and land-use history. Forest Ecology and Management. 2014;314(0):50-8.
  • Harker BW, Behura SK, deBruyn BS, Lovin DD, Mori A, Romero-Severson J, et al. Stage-specific transcription during development of Aedes aegypti. BMC Developmental Biology. 2013;13.
  • SA Owusu, M Staton, TN Jennings, S Schlarbaum, MV Coggeshall, Jeanne Romero-Severson, Scott Schlarbaum. Development of Genomic Microsatellites in Gleditsia triacanthos (Fabaceae) Using Illumina Sequencing Applications in Plant Sciences 1 (12)
  • AR Sullivan, JF Lind, TS McCleary, J Romero-Severson, O Gailing. Development and characterization of genomic and gene-based microsatellite markers in North American red oak species Plant Molecular Biology Reporter 31 (1), 231-239
  • McCleary T, McAllister M**, Coggeshall M, Romero-Severson J. EST-SSR markers reveal synonymies, homonymies and relationships inconsistent with putative pedigrees in chestnut cultivars. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution. 2013;60(4):1209-22.
  • Berois M, Romero-Severson J, Severson DW. RNAi knock-downs support roles for the mucin-like (AeIMUC1) gene and short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase (SDR) gene in Aedes aegypti susceptibility to Plasmodium gallinaceum. Medical and Veterinary Entomology. 2012;26(1):112-5.
  • Chauhan C, Behura SK, Debruyn B, Lovin DD, Harker BW, Gomez-Machorro C, et al. Comparative Expression Profiles of Midgut Genes in Dengue Virus Refractory and Susceptible Aedes aegypti across Critical Period for Virus Infection. Plos One. 2012;7(10).
  • Hoban SM*, McCleary TS, Schlarbaum SE, Anagnostakis SA, Romero-Severson J. Human impacted landscapes facilitate hybridization between a native and an introduced tree. Evolutionary Applications. 2012
  • Hoban SM*, Schlarbaum SE, Brosi SL, Romero-Severson J. A rare case of natural regeneration in butternut, a threatened forest tree, is parent and space limited. Conservation Genetics. 2012;13(6):1447-57.
  • Hoban S*, Romero-Severson J. Homonymy, synonymy and hybrid misassignments in butternut (Juglans cinerea) and Japanese walnut (Juglans ailantifolia) nut cultivars. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution. 2012;59(7):1397-405.
  • Behura SK, Gomez-Machorro C, Harker BW, Debruyn B, Lovin DD, Hemme RR, et al. [Romero-Severson J. eighth of ten authors] Global Cross-Talk of Genes of the Mosquito Aedes aegypti in Response to Dengue Virus Infection. Plos Neglected Tropical Diseases. 2011;5(11).
  • Behura SK, Lobo NF, Haas B, deBruyn B, Lovin DD, Shumway MF, et al.[Romero-Severson J. eighth of ten authors] Complete sequences of mitochondria genomes of Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus and comparative analysis of mitochondrial DNA fragments inserted in the nuclear genomes. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 2011;41(10):770-7.
  • Schneider JR, Chadee DD, Mori A, Romero-Severson J, Severson DW. Heritability and adaptive phenotypic plasticity of adult body size in the mosquito Aedes aegypti with implications for dengue vector competence. Infection Genetics and Evolution. 2011;11(1):11-6.
  • Hoban SM*, Borkowski DS*, Brosi SL, McCleary TS, Thompson LM, McLachlan JS, et al. [Romero-Severson J. last author] Range-wide distribution of genetic diversity in the North American tree Juglans cinerea: a product of range shifts, not ecological marginality or recent population decline. Molecular Ecology. 2010;19(22):4876-91.
  • Kirkness EF, Haas BJ, Sun WL, Braig HR, Perotti MA, Clark JM, et al. [Romero-Severson J.34th of 71 authors] Genome sequences of the human body louse and its primary endosymbiont provide insights into the permanent parasitic lifestyle. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2010;107(27):12168-73.
  • Munoz-Torres MC, Saski C, Blackmon B, Romero-Severson J, Werren JH. Development of bacterial artificial chromosome library resources for parasitoid Hymenoptera (Nasonia vitripennis and Nasonia giraulti: Pteromalidae). Insect Molecular Biology. 2010;19:181-7.