Jeanne Romero-Severson Professor

Quantitative and population genetics in natural populations
 Jeanne Romero-Severson

Research Interests:

In over 100 years of intensive study of inheritance in organisms from all the major branches of life, we have built models of what we see, from simple Mendelian phenotypes to genetic control systems of exquisite precision; from simple DNA, RNA and protein sequencing to the improbably noisy biochemical reactions that produce a phenotype. In my program we use this accumulated knowledge to study the genetics of stress resistance in natural populations, in the native forest trees of eastern North America, the insect vectors of human disease and the malaria parasite. Most recently we have focused on the application of quantitative genetics, high throughput metabolomics, and traditional tree breeding to successfully develop a nontransgenic population of native ash resistant to the Emerald ash borer.

Our basic research program focuses on:

  • Population dynamics, spatial genetic structure, gene flow, adaptive genetic variation and spontaneous interspecific hybridization, in Quercus, Castanea, Juglans and Fraxinus.
  • Genetic architecture and speciation mechanisms in the genera Castanea and Juglans
  • Rapid identification of the genetic basis of multidrug resistance in the malaria parasite 
  • The genetic architecture of resistance to the Emerald ash borer



  • Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, IN 2013-Present
  • Director, Tree Genetics Core Facility, University of Notre Dame, IN 2008-2016
  • Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, IN 2003-2013
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources
    and Department of Agronomy, Purdue University, IN 1999-2003
  • 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:

  • Soltani N, Best T, Grace D, Nelms C, Shumaker K, Romero-Severson J, Moses D, Schuster S, Staton M, Carlson J, Gwinn K (2020) Transcriptome profiles of Quercus rubra responding to increased O3 stress BMC Genomics 21:160 doi:10.1186/s12864-020-6549-5
  • National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Forest Health and Biotechnology: Possibilities and Considerations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. Consensus report
  • Stevens KA, Woeste K, Chakraborty S, Crepeau MW, Leslie CA, Martínez-García PJ, Puiu D, Romero-Severson J, Coggeshall M, Dandekar AM, Kluepfel D, Neale DB, Salzberg SL, Langley CH (2018) Genomic Variation Among and Within Six Juglans Species G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics 8:2153-2165 doi:10.1534/g3.118.200030
  • Kristian A. Stevens, Keith Woeste, Sandeep Chakraborty, Marc W. Crepeau, Charles A. Leslie, Pedro J. Martínez-García, Daniela Puiu, Jeanne Romero-Severson, Mark Coggeshall, Abhaya M. Dandekar, Daniel Klupfel, David B. Neale, Steven L. Salzberg, and Charles H. Langley. Genomic variation among and within six Juglans species (2018) G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics.  Accepted 03/20/2018
  • Cannon, C. H., O. Brendel, M. Deng, A. L. Hipp, A. Kremer, C. S. Kua, C. Plomion, J. RomeroSeverson and V. L. Sork (2018). Gaining a global perspective on Fagaceae genomic diversification and adaptation. New Phytologist 218(3): 894-897.
  • 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 60 (9), 778-790.
  • 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