Distinguished Professor of Genetics University of California, Riverside
Ph.D. (1980) Cornell University


  • Member, National Academy of Science
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor
  • Elected Member, Council of the National Academy of Sciences
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Member, Maize Executive Committee
  • Associate Editor, Genetics
  • Editorial Board, BioMedCentral Evolutionary Biology
  • Editorial Board, Current Opinions in Plant Biology
  • Member, Searle Scholar Advisory Board
  • External Advisory Board, Max Planck Institute, Kohn, Germany
  • Lamar Dodd Award for Research, University of Georgia, 1997
  • Creative Research Medal, University of Georgia, 1991
  • Grant Support -
    • “MITEs and their Transposases,” NIH
    • “Transposable Elements in Rice: A Whole Genome Approach,” NSF
Selected Publications:
  • Pritham E.J., C. Feschotte and S.R. Wessler. 2005. Unexpected diversity and differential success of DNA transposons in four species of entamoeba protozoans. Mol. Biol. Evol. 22: 1751-1763.
  • Zhang, X. and S.R. Wessler. 2005. BoS: A large and diverse family of short interspersed elements (SINEs) in Brassica oleracea. J. Mol. Evol. 60: 677-687.
  • Wessler S.R. and J.C. Carrington. 2005. Genome studies and molecular genetics: The consequences of gene and genome duplication in plants. Curr. Opin. Plant Biol. 8: 119-121.
  • Feschotte, C., M.T. Osterlund, R. Peeler and S.R. Wessler. 2005. DNA-binding specificity of rice mariner-like transposases and interactions with Stowaway MITEs. Nucleic Acids Res 33: 2153-2165.
  • Wessler, S.R. 2005. Homing into the origin of the AP2 DNA binding domain. Trends in Plant Science 10: 54-56.
  • Jiang, N., Z. Bao, X. Zhang, S. R. Eddy and Wessler S R. 2004. Pack-MULE transposable elements mediate gene evolution in plants. Nature 431: 569-573.
  • Zhang X., N. Jiang, C. Feschotte and S.R. Wessler. 2004. PIF- and Pong-like transposable elements: distribution, evolution and relationship with tourist-like miniature inverted-repeat transposable elements. Genetics 166: 971-986.
  • Zhang, X. and S.R. Wessler. 2004. Genome-wide comparative analysis of the transposable elements in the related species Arabidopsis thaliana and Brassica oleracea. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 101: 5589-5594.
  • Jiang, N., C. Feschotte, X. Zhang and S.R. Wessler. 2004. Using rice to understand the origin and amplification of miniature inverted repeat transposable elements (MITEs). Curr. Opin. Plant Biol. 7: 115-119.
  • Kentner, E.K., M.L. Arnold and S.R. Wessler. 2003. Characterization of high-copy-number retrotransposons from the large genomes of the Louisiana Iris species and their use as molecular markers. Genetics 164: 685-697.
  • Biedler, J., Y. Qi, D. Holligan, A. Della Torre, S.R. Wessler and Z. Tu. 2003. Transposable element (TE) display and rapid detection of TE insertion polymorphism in the Anopheles gambiae species complex. Insect Mol. Biol. 12: 211-216.
  • Feschotte, C., L. Swamy and S.R. Wessler. 2003. Genome-wide analysis of mariner-like transposable elements reveals complex relationships with Stowaway MITEs. Genetics 143: 747-758.
  • Jiang, N., Z. Bao, X. Zhang, H. Hirochika, S.R. Eddy, S.R. McCouch and S.R. Wessler. 2003. An active DNA transposon family in rice. Nature 421: 163-167.
  • Jiang, N., K.I. Jordan and S.R. Wessler. 2002. Dasheng and RIRE2. A nonautonomous long terminal repeat element and its putative autonomous partner in the rice genome. Plant Physiology 130: 1697-1705.
  • Jiang, N., Bao Z., Temnykh S., Cheng Z., Jiang J., Wing R., McCouch S. and S.R. Wessler. 2002. Dasheng: a recently amplified nonautonomous LTR element that is a major component of pericentromeric regions in rice. Genetics 161: 1293-1305.
  • Peterson, D.G., S.R. Schulze, E.B. Sciara, S.A. Lee, J.E. Bowers, A. Nagel, N. Jiang, D.C. Tibbitts, S.R. Wessler and A.H. Paterson. 2002. Integration of Cot Analysis, DNA cloning, and high-throughput sequencing facilitates genome characterization and gene discovery. Genome Research 12: 795-807.
  • Feschotte, C., N. Jiang and S.R. Wessler. 2002. Plant transposable elements: where genetics meets gemomics. Nature Reviews Genetics 3: 329-341.
  • Feschotte, C., X. Zhang and S.R. Wessler. 2002. Miniature Inverted-repeat transposable elements (MITEs) and their relationship with established DNA transposons. In: Mobile DNA II (Craig N, Craigie R, Gellert M & Lambowitz A, eds.). ASM Press, Washington D.C.
  • Feschotte, C. and S.R. Wessler. 2002. Mariner-like transposases are widespread and diverse in flowering plants. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 99: 280-285.
  • Jiang, N. and S.R. Wessler. 2001. Insertion preference of maize and rice MITEs as revealed by the analysis of nested elements. The Plant Cell 13: 2553-2564.
  • Zhang, X., Feschotte C., Zhang Q., Jiang N., Eggleston W.B. and S.R. Wessler. 2001. P instability factor: an active maize transposon system associated with the amplification of Tourist-like MITEs and a new superfamily of transposases. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 98: 12572-12577.
  • Feschotte, C. and S.R. Wessler. 2001. Treasures in the attic: Rolling circle transposons discovered in eukaryotic genomes. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 98: 8923-8924.