Faculty list

Dr. John Wang

Assistant Research Fellow
Ph.D. Stanford University
Research Fields
Social insect behavior, evolution, genetics, and genomics. Nematode genome evolution.
Major Research Achievements (2013-2017)
  • Social biology and behavior involve interesting and complex interactions between individuals. For the fire ant, we generated and characterized the first, large-scale cDNA library and microarray which has been used by myself and others to study social behavior, development, aging, pathogen infection, and interspecies hybridization. Using microarrays, I demonstrated the first example of a naturally occurring polymorphic Mendelian element that affects gene expression in other group members. We have also produced a draft assembly of the fire ant genome.
  • In my other study organism, C. elegans, I have initiated a project on genome evolution. Genome size changes rapidly during evolution, with those of multicellular eukaryote species varying across four orders of magnitude. We showed for the first time that variation in homologue size of autosomes may affect genome size in nematodes.
Research Interests
  • Genetics, genomics, behavior, and evolution of social insects.
  • Evolution of genome size in nematodes.
    Ongoing projects
    • The molecular genetic basis for division of labor and sex determination in ants.
    • Genomic analysis of the selfish supergene in fire ants.
    • The mechanism underlying non-independent assortment of chromosomes in nematodes.
    • We are currently recruiting people of various levels (students, research assistants and postdocs) who are interested in our research area.
      Publications (2009-2017)
      1. Huang, Y.-C., Lee, C.-C., Kao, C.-Y., Chang, N.-C., Lin, C.-C., Shoemaker, D.D., Wang, J.*, 2016, “Evolution of long centromeres in fire ants.”, BMC EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY, 16:189. (SCI) (IF: 3.406; SCI ranking: 32.6%,31.3%)
      2. Lee, C.-C., Wang, J.*, 2016, “The complete mitochondrial genome of Histiostoma blomquisti (Acari: Histiostomatidae)”, Mitochondrial DNA Part B, 1(1), 671–673.
      3. Cook, D.C., Zdraljevic, S., Tanny, R.E., Seo, B., Riccardi, D.D., Noble, L.M., Rockman, M.V., Alkema, M.J., Braendle, C., Kammenga, J.E., Wang, J., Kruglyak, L., Félix, M.A., Lee, J., Andersen, E.C.*, 2016, “The genetic basis of natural variation in Caenorhabditis elegans telomere length.”, GENETICS, 204(1), 371-83. (SCI) (IF: 4.644; SCI ranking: 17.5%)
      4. Huang YC, Wang J*, 2014, “Did the fire ant supergene evolve selfishly or socially?”, BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology, 36(2), 200-208. (SCI) (IF: 4.725; SCI ranking: 11.6%,19.7%)
      5. Nipitwattanaphon M, 「Wang J」, Ross KG, Riba-Grognuz O, Wurm Y, Khurewathanakul C, Keller L, 2014, “Effects of ploidy and sex-locus genotype on gene expression patterns in the fire ant Solenopsis invicta.”, Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 281(1797), 20141776. (SCI) (IF: 4.823; SCI ranking: 12.7%,10.5%,17.4%)
      6. Nipitwattanaphon M, Wang J, Dijkstra MB, Keller L, 2013, “A simple genetic basis for complex social behaviour mediates widespread gene expression differences.”, Molecular ecology, 22(14), 3797-3813. (SCI) (IF: 5.947; SCI ranking: 12.1%,7.3%,10.9%)
      7. Wang J*, Wurm Y*, Nipitwattanaphon M, Riba-Grognuz O, Huang YC, Shoemaker D, Keller L*, 2013, “A Y-like social chromosome causes alternative colony organization in fire ants.”, Nature, 493(7434), 664-668. (SCI) (IF: 38.138; SCI ranking: 1.6%)
      8. Stock M, Croll D, Dumas Z, Biollay S, Wang J, Perrin N, 2011, “A cryptic heterogametic transition revealed by sex-linked DNA markers in Palearctic green toads.”, JOURNAL OF EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY, 24(5), 1064-1070. (SCI) (IF: 2.747; SCI ranking: 43.4%,32.7%,50%)
      9. Wurm Y*, Wang J, Riba-Grognuz O, Corona M, Nygaard S, Hunt BG, Ingram KK, Falquet L, Nipitwattanaphon M, Gotzek D, Dijkstra MB, Oettler J, Comtesse F, Shih CJ, Wu WJ, Yang CC, Thomas J, Beaudoing E, Pradervand S, Flegel V, Cook ED, Fabbretti R, Stockinger H, Long L, Farmerie WG, Oakey J, Boomsma JJ, Pamilo P, Yi SV, Heinze J, Goodisman MA, Farinelli L, Harshman K, Hulo N, Cerutti L, Xenarios I, Shoemaker D, Keller L, 2011, “The genome of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta.”, PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 108(14), 5679-5684. (SCI) (IF: 9.423; SCI ranking: 6.3%)