Ph.D. 2015, University of Michigan, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
My research program seeks to elucidate the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that confer adaptation to environmental change in plants. Using crop relatives (wild strawberries and apples), our lab addresses eco-evolutionary adaptation through the lenses of functional ecology, genomics and microbiome.
Ecological adaptation to environmental change
- How do functional traits and trait plasticity confer polyploid advantage?
- How does plant microbiome mediate polyploid advantage in response to environmental change?
We explore these questions using manipulative experiments, synthetic microbial communities, and sequencing.
Eco-evolutionary dynamics of plant–microbiome interactions
- What are the principles governing microbiome assembly and network in plants?
- What are the functions of plant microbiome (e.g. stress tolerance, disease resistance, nutrient acquisition, pollination)?
Genomics of adaptation
- What is the genetic architecture of ecological adaptation to environmental change?
- How does genetic variation shaped by past selection influence adaptive responses to future environmental scenarios?
We explore these questions using RNA-seq, RAD-seq and whole genome sequencing.
Wei, N., Russell, A. L., Jarrett, A. R., & Ashman, T.-L. (2020). Pollinators mediate floral microbial diversity and network under agrochemical disturbance. bioRxiv, doi.org/10.1101/2020.12.05.413260.
Wei, N., Kaczorowski, R. L., Arceo-Gómez, G., O’Neill, E. M., Hayes, R. A., & Ashman, T.-L. (2020). Pollinator niche partitioning and asymmetric facilitation contribute to the maintenance of diversity. bioRxiv, doi.org/10.1101/2020.03.02.974022.
Liston, A., Wei, N., Tennessen, J. A., Li, J., Dong, M., & Ashman, T.-L. (2020). Revisiting the origin of the octoploid strawberry. Nature Genetics, 52, 2-4.
Wei, N., Du, Z., & Ashman, T.-L. (2019). Genome duplication effects on functional traits and fitness are genetic context and species dependent: studies of synthetic polyploid Fragaria. American Journal of Botany, 107, 1-11.
Wei, N., Cronn, R., Liston, A., & Ashman, T.-L. (2019). Functional trait divergence and trait plasticity confer polyploid advantage in heterogeneous environments. New Phytologist, 221, 2286-2297.
Rebolleda-Gómez, M., Forrester, N. J., Russell, A., Wei, N., Fetters, A. M., Stephens, J. D., & Ashman, T.-L. (2019). Gazing into the anthosphere: Considering how microbes influence floral evolution. New Phytologist, 224, 1012-1020.
Wei, N., & Ashman, T.-L. (2018). The effects of host species and sexual dimorphism differ among root, leaf and flower microbiomes of wild strawberries in situ. Scientific Reports, 8, 5195.
Tennessen, J. A., Wei, N., Straub, S., Govindarajulu, R., Liston, A., & Ashman, T.-L. (2018). Repeated translocation of a gene cassette drives sex chromosome turnover in strawberries. PLOS Biology, 16, e2006062.
Dillenberger, M. S., Wei, N., Tennessen, J. A., Ashman, T.-L., & Liston, A. (2018). Plastid genomes reveal recurrent formation of allopolyploid Fragaria. American Journal of Botany, 105, 1-13.
Wei, N., Tennessen, J. A., Liston, A., & Ashman, T.-L. (2017). Present-day sympatry belies the evolutionary origin of a high-order polyploid. New Phytologist, 216, 279-290.
Wei, N., Govindarajulu, R., Tennessen, J. A., Liston, A., & Ashman, T.-L. (2017). Genetic mapping and phylogenetic analysis reveal intraspecific variation in sex chromosomes of the Virginian strawberry. Journal of Heredity, 108, 731-739.
Yang, A. H., Wei, N., Fritsch, P. W., & Yao, X. H. (2016). AFLP genome scanning reveals divergent selection in natural populations of Liriodendron chinense (Magnoliaceae) along a latitudinal transect. Frontiers in Plant Science, 7, 698.
Wei, N., Bemmels, J. B., & Dick, C. W. (2014). The effects of read length, quality and quantity on microsatellite discovery and primer development: from Illumina to PacBio. Molecular Ecology Resources, 14, 953-965.
Ye, Q., Tang, F., Wei, N., & Yao, X. H. (2013). Molecular and quantitative trait variation within and among small fragmented populations of the endangered plant species Psilopeganum sinense. Annals of Botany, 113, 79-86.