Josh Gibson

School of Life Sciences
Arizona State University
PO Box 874601
Tempe, AZ 85287-4601
Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Research Interests

My research is focused on the genetic architecture that reinforces speciation. There are two principal mechanisms that lead to the formation and maintenance of new species, those that act before and after mating (pre- and post-zygotic mechanisms, respectively). I investigate both of these mechanisms using parasitoid wasps in the genus Nasonia (Pteromalidae). The four species of Nasonia can be crossed with one another (once their Wolbachia endosymbionts have been cleared) to produce fertile and partially viable interspecific hybrids. These hybrids provide a powerful system to identify hybrid incompatibilities (postyzygotic) as well species differences that serve to keep them separated in the wild (prezygotic). By utilizing the haplo-diploid genetics of the Nasonia system as well as the large set of genomic tools available, we have identified genes that underlie hybrid mortality in interspecific larvae as well as genes that are essential to the production of species-specific sex pheromones.


Gibson JD, Niehuis O, Peirson BRE, Cash EI, and Gadau J. (2013) Genetic and developmental basis of F2 hybrid breakdown in Nasonia. Evolution (DOI: 10.1111/evo.12080)

Niehuis O, Buellesbach J, Gibson JD, Pothmann D, Hanner C, Mutti N, Judson AK, Gadau J, Ruther J, and Schmitt T. (2013) Behavioural and genetic analyses of Nasonia shed light on the evolution of sex pheromones. Nature (DOI:10.1038/nature11838)

Smith CR, Smith CD, Robertson HM…Gibson JD (18/45)…Gadau J. (2011) A draft genome of the red harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex barbatus: a model for reproductive division of labor and social complexity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) (DOI:10.1073/pnas.1007901108)

Smith CD, Abouheif E, Benton R…Gibson JD (12/50)…Tsutsui ND. (2011) The draft genome of the globally widespread and invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) (DOI:10.1073/pnas.1008617108)

Suen G, Teiling C, Li L…Gibson JD (15/49)…Currie CR. (2011) The genome sequence of the leaf-cutter ant Atta cephalotes reveals insights into its obligate symbiotic lifestyle. PLoS Genetics 7(2): e1002007 (DOI:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002007)

Gibson JD, Niehuis O, Verrelli BC, Gadau J. (2010) Contrasting patterns of selective constraints in nuclear encoded genes of the oxidative phosphorylation pathway in holometabolous insects and their possible role in hybrid breakdown in Nasonia. Heredity 104:310-317 (DOI:10.1038/hdy.2009.172).

Beukeboom, LW, Niehuis O, Pannebakker BA, Koevoets T, Gibson JD, Shuker DM, van de Zande L, Gadau J. (2010) A comparison of recombination frequencies in intraspecific versus interspecific mapping populations of Nasonia. Heredity 104:302-309 (DOI:10.1038/hdy.2009.185).

Kim J, Cunningham R, James B, Wyder S, Gibson JD, Niehuis O, Zdobnov EM, Robertson HM, Robinson GE, Werren JH, Sinha S. (2010) Functional characterization of transcription factor motifs using cross-species comparison across large evolutionary distances. PLoS Computational Biology 6:e1000652 (DOI:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000652).

Niehuis O, Gibson JD, Rosenberg MS, Pannebakker BA, Koevoets T, Judson AK, Desjardins CA, Kennedy K, Duggan D, Beukeboom LW, van de Zande L, Shuker DM, Werren JH, Gadau J. (2010) Recombination and its impact on the genome of the haplodiploid parasitoid wasp Nasonia. PLoS ONE 5:e8597 (DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0008597).

Werren JH, Richards S, Desjardins CA…Gibson JD (57/157)…Gibbs RA. (2010) Functional and evolutionary insights from the genomes of three parasitoid Nasonia species. [design and analysis of SNP genotyping microarray, gene annotation] Science 327:343-348 (DOI: 10.1126/science.1178028).

Loomes KM, Stevens SA, O’Brien ML, Gonzalez DM, Ryan MJ, Segalov M, Dormans NJ, Mimoto MS, Gibson JD, Sewell W, Schaffer AA, Nah HD, Rappaport EF, Pratt SC, Dunwoodie SL, Kusumi K. (2007) Dll3 and Notch1 genetic interactions model axial segmental and craniofacial malformations of human birth defects. Developmental Dynamics 236:2943-2951 (DOI: 10.1002/dvdy.21296).

William DA, Saitta B, Gibson JD, Traas J, Markov V, Gonzalez DM, Sewell W, Anderson DM, Pratt SC, Rappaport E, Kusumi K. (2007) Identification of oscillatory genes in somitogenesis from functional genomic analysis of a human mesenchymal stem cell model. Developmental Biology 305:172-186 (DOI: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2007.02.007).