School of Biological Sciences

Jeremiah Busch

Name: Jeremiah Busch
Field of Study: Plant Evolutionary Genetics
Title: Associate Professor
Degrees: Ph.D., Evolution, Indiana University
Homepage: Click
Office: Eastlick 387
Phone: 509-335-0086; Lab--509-335-5641
Fax: 509-335-3184
Mailing Address: School of Biological Sciences
Washington State University
PO Box 644236
Pullman, WA 99164-4236

Research Interests

We are evolutionary biologists who seek to understand and explain biodiversity. To reach this goal, we challenge evolutionary hypotheses with simple models, analyses of DNA sequence variation, information on traits, and manipulative studies in natural populations. These efforts help to elucidate the processes that maintain or transform diversity in the wild.

Much of our work aims to understand trait diversity in flowering plants. This group of organisms displays tremendous variability in the form and arrangement of their reproductive structures. Floral traits have long been associated with the benefits of cross-pollination in nature, yet we are interested in the evolutionary challenges faced by populations when cross-pollination is ineffective or costly.  Specifically, current research focuses on three major themes: 1) mechanisms driving the recurrent evolution of self-fertilization in plants; 2) the maintenance of self-incompatibility in diverse geographical contexts; and 3) interactions between the evolution of ploidy and mating systems.

To Prospective Students:
Students with broad interests in biology, an independent work ethic, and a keen interest in the feedback between theory and data are always welcome. While Leavenworthia species are common lab critters, I encourage students to take a question-driven approach that often leads outside this taxonomic group. Check out my personal webpage ( for more information on student projects.

Representative Publications

(* = WSU graduate student, ^ = WSU undergraduate)

Harder LD, MA Aizen, SA Richards, MA Joseph* and JW Busch. 2015. Diverse ecological relations of male gametophyte populations in stylar environments. American Journal of Botany (in review).

Pannell JR, J Auld, Y Brandvain, M Burd, JW Busch, PO Cheptou, J Conner, EE Goldberg, AG Grant, D Grossenbacher, S Hovick, B Igic, S Kalisz, A Pauw, T Petanidou, A Randle, R Rubio de Casas, J Vamosi and A Winn. 2015. The scope of Baker's law. New Phytologist    doi:10.1111/nph.13539.

Norton NA*, MTR Fernando, CR Herlihy and JW Busch. 2015. Reproductive character displacement shapes a spatially structured petal color polymorphism in Leavenworthia stylosa. Evolution 69:1191-1207.

Villanea F*, KN Safi and JW Busch. 2015. A general model of negative frequency dependent selection explains global patterns of human ABO polymorphism. PLoS One: 10(5):e0125003.

Busch JW, T Witthuhn^ and M Joseph*. 2014. Fewer S-alleles are maintained in plant populations with sporophytic as opposed to gametophytic self-incompatibility. Plant Species Biology 29:34-46.

Igic B and JW Busch. 2013. Is self-fertilization an evolutionary dead end? New Phytologist 198:386-397.

Dixon AL*, CR Herlihy and JW Busch. 2013. Demographic and population-genetic tests provide mixed support for the abundant centre hypothesis in the endemic plant Leavenworthia stylosa. Molecular Ecology 22:1777-1791.

Herman AC, JW Busch and DJ Schoen. 2012. Phylogeny of Leavenworthia S-alleles suggests unidirectional mating system evolution and enhanced positive selection following an ancient population bottleneck. Evolution 66:1849-1861.

Busch JW and LF Delph. 2012. The relative importance of reproductive assurance and automatic selection as hypotheses for the evolution of self-fertilization. Annals of Botany 109:553-562.

Busch JW. 2011. Demography, pollination, and Baker’s law. Evolution 65:1511-1513.

Busch JW, S Joly and DJ Schoen. 2011. Demographic signatures accompanying the evolution of selfing in Leavenworthia alabamica. Molecular Biology and Evolution 28:1717-1729.

Busch JW, CR Herlihy, L Gunn^ and WJ Werner^. 2010. Mixed mating in a recently derived self-compatible population of Leavenworthia alabamica (Brassicaceae). American Journal of Botany 97:1005-1013.

Busch JW, S Joly and DJ Schoen. 2010. Does mate-limitation in self-incompatible species promote the evolution of selfing? The case of Leavenworthia alabamica. Evolution 64:1657-1670.

Schoen DJ and JW Busch. 2009. The evolution of dominance in sporophytic self- incompatibility systems. II. Mate availability and recombination. Evolution 63:2099-2113.

Busch JW, J Sharma and DJ Schoen. 2008. Molecular characterization of Lal2, an SRK-like gene linked to the S-locus in the wild mustard Leavenworthia alabamica. Genetics 178: 2055-2067.

Busch JW and DJ Schoen. 2008. The evolution of self-incompatibility when mates are limiting. Trends in Plant Science 13:128-136. 

Busch JW. 2006. Heterosis in an isolated, effectively small, and self-fertilizing population of the flowering plant Leavenworthia alabamica. Evolution 60:184-191.

Busch JW. 2005. The evolution of self-compatibility in geographically peripheral populations of Leavenworthia alabamica (Brassicaceae). American Journal of Botany 92:1503-1512.

Busch JW. 2005. Inbreeding depression in self-incompatible and self-compatible populations of Leavenworthia alabamica. Heredity 94:159-165.

Busch JW, M Neiman and JM Koslow. 2004. Evidence for maintenance of sex by pathogens in plants. Evolution 58:2584-2590.

School of Biological Sciences, Washington State University, PO Box 644236, Pullman WA 99164-4236, 509-335-3553, Contact Us
The SBS main office is located in 312 Abelson Hall on the Pullman campus.