Assistant Professor
Ph.D. (2011) University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Start date of August 2015
  • Research Interests -
    • Sex chromosomes have evolved repeatedly across a diverse group of animal and plant taxa. In many of these systems, sex chromosomes play a primary role in sex determination, harbor sexually antagonistic gene expression, and contain a disproportionately large number of genes involved in reproductive isolation between species. Therefore, a longstanding goal in evolutionary biology is to understand the processes that lead to the evolution of morphologically and molecularly distinct sex chromosomes. I am broadly interested in sex chromosome evolution and, in particular, exploring how genetic recombination is modulated across emerging sex chromosomes. How is recombination completely suppressed across some regions of sex chromosomes while other regions experience rates of recombination several fold higher than the remainder of the genome? Is there variation within species where recombination can occur along sex chromosomes? If so, does variation have functional consequences during meiosis? To address these types of questions, I use a combination of molecular and bioinformatic approaches to study sex chromosome evolution in the threespine stickleback fish, which has an XY chromosome system at early stages of differentiation. I am also interested in exploring these questions in the older XY chromosome system of house mice, to understand whether variation in recombination across chromosomal regions can act as a species barrier.
Selected Publications:
  • White, M.A., Kitano, J., and Peichel, C.L. 2015. Purifying selection maintains dosage-sensitive genes during degeneration of the threespine stickleback Y chromosome. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 32: 1981-1995.
  • Wang, R.J., White, M.A., and Payseur, B.A. 2015. The pace of hybrid incompatibility evolution in house mice. Genetics. In press.
  • Turner L.M., White M.A., Tautz D., Payseur B.A. 2014. Genomic networks of hybrid sterility. PLoS Genetics. e1004162.
  • Gray M.M., Wegmann D., Haasl R.J., White M.A., Gabriel S.I., Searle J.B., Cuthbert R.J., Ryan P.G., Payseur B.A. 2014. Demographic history of a recent invasion of house mice on the isolated island of Gough. Molecular Ecology. 23: 1923-1939.
  • White M.A., Ikeda A., Payseur B.A. 2012. A pronounced evolutionary shift of the pseudoautosomal region boundary in house mice. Mammalian Genome. 23: 454-466.
  • White M.A., Stubbings M., Dumont B.L., Payseur B.A. 2012. Genetics and evolution of hybrid male sterility in house mice. Genetics. 191: 917-934.
  • Keane T.M., Goodstadt L., Danecek P., White M.A., Wong K., Yalcin B., Heger A., Agam A., Slater G., Goodson M., Furotte N.A., Eskin E., Nellåker C., Whitley H., Cleak J., Janowitz D., Hernandez-Pliego P., Edwards A., Belgard T.G., Oliver P., McIntyre R.E., Bhomra A., Nicod J., Gan X., Yuan W., van der Weyden L., Steward C.A., Balasubramaniam S., Stalker J., Mott R., Durbin R., Jackson I., Czechanski A., Assunção J.A.G., Donahue L.R., Reinholdt L., Payseur B.A., Ponting C.P., Birney E., Flint J., Adams D.J. 2011. Sequence variants among 17 mouse genomes: Effect on phenotypes and gene regulation. Nature. 477: 289-294.
  • White M.A., Steffy B., Wiltshire T., Payseur B.A. 2011. Genetic dissection of a key reproductive barrier between nascent species of house mice. Genetics. 189: 289-304.
  • Dumont B.L., White M.A., Steffy B., Wiltshire T., Payseur B.A. 2011. Extensive recombination rate variation in the house mouse species complex inferred from genetic linkage maps. Genome Research. 21: 114-125.
  • White M.A., Ané C., Dewey C.N., Larget B.R., Payseur B.A. 2009. Fine-scale phylogenetic discordance across the house mouse genome. PLoS Genetics. 5: e1000729.
Personal Website: