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Institute of Applied Data Science


Dr Yannick Wurm

Yannick Wurm

Reader in Bioinformatics & Turing Fellow

School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
Room 5.21, Fogg Building
+44 (0)20 7882 3049


Evolutionary genomics of social insects, Genomics & Bioinformatics, BLAST (bionformatics tool)


His research is currently focussed on evolutionary genomics, social evolution, modern bioinformatics and genomics approaches, elegant software.


Publications of specific relevance to Applied Data Science


Jackson R, Henry LM and Wurm Y (2020). Evolution: The Legacy of Endosymbiosis in Ants. Elsevier (Cell Press)  Current Biology  vol. 30, (22) R1385-R1387. 10.1016/j.cub.2020.09.023
Martinez-Ruiz C, Pracana R, Stolle E, Paris CI, Nichols RA and Wurm Y (2020). Genomic architecture and evolutionary antagonism drive allelic expression bias in the social supergene of red fire ants. Elife  vol. 9, 1-23. 10.7554/ELIFE.55862
López-Osorio F and Wurm Y (2020). Healthy Pollinators: Evaluating Pesticides with Molecular Medicine Approaches. Trends in Ecology and Evolution  vol. 35, (5) 380-383. 10.1016/j.tree.2019.12.012
Zile K, Dessimoz C, Wurm Y and Masel J (2020). Only a single taxonomically restricted gene family in the Drosophila melanogaster subgroup can be identified with high confidence. Genome Biology and Evolution  vol. 12, (8) 1355-1366. 10.1093/GBE/EVAA127


Priyam A, Woodcroft BJ, Rai V, Moghul I, Munagala A, Ter F, Chowdhary H, Pieniak I, Maynard LJ, Gibbins MA, Moon HK, Davis-Richardson A, Uludag M, Watson-Haigh NS, Challis R, Nakamura H, Favreau E, Gómez EA, Pluskal T, Leonard G, Rumpf W and Wurm Y (2019). Sequenceserver: A Modern Graphical User Interface for Custom BLAST Databases. Molecular Biology and Evolution  vol. 36, (12) 2922-2924. 10.1093/molbev/msz185
Moghul I, Priyam A and Wurm Y (2019). Erratum: Correction to: Choosing the Best Gene Predictions with GeneValidator (Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) (2019) 1962 (257-267)). Humana Press  Methods in Molecular Biology  vol. 1962, C1-C1. 10.1007/978-1-4939-9173-0_18
Dhaygude K, Nair A, Johansson H, Wurm Y and Sundström L (2019). The first draft genomes of the ant Formica exsecta, and its Wolbachia endosymbiont reveal extensive gene transfer from endosymbiont to host. Biomed Central  Bmc Genomics  vol. 20, (1) 10.1186/s12864-019-5665-6
WURM Y and CHITTKA L (2019). Caste- and pesticide-specific effects of neonicotinoid pesticide exposure on gene expression in bumblebees. Wiley  Molecular Ecology  10.1111/mec.15047
Stolle E, Pracana R, Howard P, Paris CI, Brown SJ, Castillo-Carrillo C, Rossiter SJ and Wurm Y (2019). Degenerative Expansion of a Young Supergene. Molecular Biology and Evolution  vol. 36, (3) 553-561. 10.1093/molbev/msy236
Moghul I, Priyam A and Wurm Y (2019). Choosing the best gene predictions with GeneValidator. Springer Science+Business Media, Llc, Part of Springer Nature  Gene Prediction  vol. 1962, 257-267. 10.1007/978-1-4939-9173-0_16


Arce AN, Rodrigues AR, Yu J, Colgan TJ, Wurm Y and Gill RJ (2018). Foraging bumblebees acquire a preference for neonicotinoid-treated food with prolonged exposure. Proceedings of The Royal Society B: Biological Sciences  vol. 285, (1885) 10.1098/rspb.2018.0655


FAVREAU E, Martínez Ruiz C, RODRIGUES SANTIAGO L, Hammond RL and WURM Y (2017). Genes and genomic processes underpinning the social lives of ants. Elsevier  Current Opinion in Insect Science  vol. 25, 10.1016/j.cois.2017.12.001
Boomsma JJ, Brady SG, Dunn RR, Gadau J, Heinze J, Keller L, Moreau CS, Sanders NJ, Schrader L, Schultz TR, Sundström L, Ward PS, Wcislo WT, Zhang G, Abouheif E, Adams RMM, Aron S, Bacci M, Bengston SE, Bernadou A, Blaimer BB, Boulay R, Bornberg-Bauer E, Branstetter MG, Economo EP, Feinerman O, Feldhaar H, Feldmeyer B, Fisher B and Foitzik S (2017). The Global Ant Genomics Alliance (GAGA). Myrmecological News  vol. 25, 61-66.
Pracana R, Levantis I, Martínez-Ruiz C, Stolle E, Priyam A and Wurm Y (2017). Fire ant social chromosomes: Differences in number, sequence and expression of odorant binding proteins. Evolution Letters  vol. 1, (4) 199-210. 10.1002/evl3.22
Pracana R, Priyam A, Levantis I, Nichols RA and Wurm Y (2017). The fire ant social chromosome supergene variant Sb shows low diversity but high divergence from SB. Molecular Ecology  vol. 26, (11) 2864-2879. 10.1111/mec.14054


Arce AN, David TI, Randall EL, Ramos Rodrigues A, Colgan TJ, Wurm Y and Gill RJ (2016). Impact of controlled neonicotinoid exposure on bumblebees in a realistic field setting. Journal of Applied Ecology  10.1111/1365-2664.12792
Semmens DC, Mirabeau O, Moghul I, Pancholi MR, Wurm Y and Elphick MR (2016). Transcriptomic identification of Starfish Neuropeptide precursors yields new insights into neuropeptide evolution. Open Biology  vol. 6, (2) 10.1098/rsob.150224
Dr gan M-A, Moghul I, Priyam A, Bustos C and Wurm Y (2016). GeneValidator: identify problems with protein-coding gene predictions. Bioinformatics  vol. 32, (10) 1559-1561. 10.1093/bioinformatics/btw015


Wurm Y (2015). Arthropod genomics beyond fruit flies: Bridging the gap between proximate and ultimate causation. Briefings in Functional Genomics  vol. 14, (6) 381-383. 10.1093/bfgp/elv034
WURM Y and Nygaard S (2015). Ant genomics (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): challenges to overcome and opportunities to seize. ÖSterreichische Gesellschaft FüR Entomofaunistik (The Austrian Society of Entomofaunistics)  Myrmecological News  vol. 21, 59-72.


Nipitwattanaphon M, Wang J, Ross KG, Riba-Grognuz O, Wurm Y, Khurewathanakul C and Keller L (2014). Effects of ploidy and sex-locus genotype on gene expression patterns in the fire ant Solenopsis invicta. Proc Biol Sci  vol. 281, (1797) 10.1098/rspb.2014.1776
Buechel SD, Wurm Y and Keller L (2014). Social chromosome variants differentially affect queen determination and the survival of workers in the fire ant Solenopsis invicta. Mol Ecol  vol. 23, (20) 5117-5127. 10.1111/mec.12915
Purcell J, Brelsford A, Wurm Y, Perrin N and Chapuisat M (2014). Convergent genetic architecture underlies social organization in ants. Cell Press  Current Biology  vol. 24, (22) 2728-2732. 10.1016/j.cub.2014.09.071
Schrader L, Kim JW, Ence D, Zimin A, Klein A, Wyschetzki K, Weichselgartner T, Kemena C, Stökl J, Schultner E, Wurm Y, Smith CD, Yandell M, Heinze J, Gadau J and Oettler J (2014). Transposable element islands facilitate adaptation to novel environments in an invasive species. Nature Communications  vol. 5, 10.1038/ncomms6495


Valles SM, Shoemaker DW, Wurm Y, Strong CA, Varone L, Becnel JJ and Shirk PD (2013). Discovery and molecular characterization of an ambisense densovirus from South American populations of Solenopsis invicta. Biological Control  vol. 67, (3) 431-439. 10.1016/j.biocontrol.2013.09.015
Manfredini F, Riba-Grognuz O, Wurm Y, Keller L, Shoemaker DW and Grozinger CM (2013). Sociogenomics of Cooperation and Conflict during Colony Founding in the Fire Ant Solenopsis invicta. Plos Genetics  vol. 9, (8) 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003633
Corona M, Libbrecht R, Wurm Y, Riba-Grognuz O, Studer RA and Keller L (2013). Vitellogenin Underwent Subfunctionalization to Acquire Caste and Behavioral Specific Expression in the Harvester Ant Pogonomyrmex barbatus. Plos Genetics  vol. 9, (8) 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003730
Simola DF, Wissler L, Donahue G, Waterhouse RM, Helmkampf M, Roux J, Nygaard S, Glastad KM, Hagen DE, Viljakainen L, Reese JT, Hunt BG, Graur D, Elhaik E, Kriventseva EV, Wen J, Parker BJ, Cash E, Privman E, Childers CP, Munoz-Torres MC, Boomsma JJ, Bornberg-Bauer E, Currie CR, Elsik CG, Suen G, Goodisman MAD, Keller L, Liebig J and Rawls A (2013). Social insect genomes exhibit dramatic evolution in gene composition and regulation while preserving regulatory features linked to sociality. Genome Research  vol. 23, (8) 1235-1247. 10.1101/gr.155408.113
Kulmuni J, Wurm Y and Pamilo P (2013). Comparative genomics of chemosensory protein genes reveals rapid evolution and positive selection in ant-specific duplicates. Heredity  vol. 110, (6) 538-547. 10.1038/hdy.2012.122
Privman E, Wurm Y and Keller L (2013). Duplication and concerted evolution in a master sex determiner under balancing selection. Proc Biol Sci  vol. 280, (1758) 10.1098/rspb.2012.2968
Wang J, Wurm Y, Nipitwattanaphon M, Riba-Grognuz O, Huang Y-C, Shoemaker D and Keller L (2013). A Y-like social chromosome causes alternative colony organization in fire ants. Nature  vol. 493, (7434) 664-668. 10.1038/nature11832
Kulmuni J, Wurm Y and Pamilo P (2013). Comparative genomics of chemosensory protein genes reveals rapid evolution and positive selection in ant-specific duplicates. Heredity  10.1038/hdy.2012.122
Manfredini F, Riba-Grognuz O, Wurm Y, Keller L, Shoemaker DW and Grozinger CM (2013). Sociogenomics of Cooperation and Conflict during Colony Founding in the Fire Ant Solenopsis invicta. Plos Genetics  vol. 9, (8) 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003633
Corona M, Libbrecht R, Wurm Y, Riba-Grognuz O, Studer RA and Keller L (2013). Vitellogenin underwent subfunctionalization to acquire caste and behavioral specific expression in the harvester ant Pogonomyrmex barbatus. Plos Genet  vol. 9, (8) 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003730


Ingram KK, Kutowoi A, Wurm Y, Shoemaker DW, Meier R and Bloch G (2012). The Molecular Clockwork of the Fire Ant Solenopsis invicta. Plos One  vol. 7, (11) 10.1371/journal.pone.0045715
Chittka A, Wurm Y and Chittka L (2012). Epigenetics: the making of ant castes. Curr Biol  vol. 22, (19) R835-R838. 10.1016/j.cub.2012.07.045
Gadau J, Helmkampf M, Nygaard S, Roux J, Simola DF, Smith CR, Suen G, Wurm Y and Smith CD (2012). The genomic impact of 100 million years of social evolution in seven ant species. Trends in Genetics  vol. 28, (1) 14-21. 10.1016/j.tig.2011.08.005


Riba-Grognuz O, Keller L, Falquet L, Xenarios I and Wurm Y (2011). Visualization and quality assessment of de novo genome assemblies. Bioinformatics  vol. 27, (24) 3425-3426. 10.1093/bioinformatics/btr569
Hunt BG, Ometto L, Wurm Y, Shoemaker DW, Yi SV, Keller L and Goodisman MAD (2011). Relaxed selection is a precursor to the evolution of phenotypic plasticity. Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences of The United States of America  vol. 108, (38) 15936-15941. 10.1073/pnas.1104825108
Nygaard S, Zhang G, Schiøtt M, Li C, Wurm Y, Hu H, Zhou J, Ji L, Qiu F, Rasmussen M, Pan H, Hauser F, Krogh A, Grimmelikhuijzen CJP, Wang J and Boomsma JJ (2011). The genome of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior suggests key adaptations to advanced social life and fungus farming. Genome Research  vol. 21, (8) 1339-1348. 10.1101/gr.121392.111
Wurm Y, Wang J, Riba-Grognuz O, Corona M, Nygaard S, Hunt BG, Ingram KK, Falquet L, Nipitwattanaphon M, Gotzek D, Dijkstra MB, Oettler J, Comtesse F, Shih C-J, Wu W-J, Yang C-C, Thomas J, Beaudoing E, Pradervand S, Flegel V, Cook ED, Fabbretti R, Stockinger H, Long L, Farmerie WG, Oakey J, Boomsma JJ, Pamilo P, Yi SV and Heinze J (2011). The genome of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A  vol. 108, (14) 5679-5684. 10.1073/pnas.1009690108
Gotzek D, Robertson HM, Wurm Y and Shoemaker D (2011). Odorant binding proteins of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta: an example of the problems facing the analysis of widely divergent proteins. Plos One  vol. 6, (1) 10.1371/journal.pone.0016289


Wurm Y and Keller L (2010). Parasitoid wasps: from natural history to genomic studies. Curr Biol  vol. 20, (5) R242-R244. 10.1016/j.cub.2010.01.027
Wurm Y, Wang J and Keller L (2010). Changes in reproductive roles are associated with changes in gene expression in fire ant queens. Mol Ecol  vol. 19, (6) 1200-1211. 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2010.04561.x


Wurm Y, Uva P, Ricci F, Wang J, Jemielity S, Iseli C, Falquet L and Keller L (2009). Fourmidable: a database for ant genomics. Bmc Genomics  vol. 10, 10.1186/1471-2164-10-5


Wurm Y, Wang J and Keller L (2007). Behavioral genomics: A, bee, C, G, T. Curr Biol  vol. 17, (2) R51-R53. 10.1016/j.cub.2006.12.019
Wang J, Jemielity S, Uva P, Wurm Y, Gräff J and Keller L (2007). An annotated cDNA library and microarray for large-scale gene-expression studies in the ant Solenopsis invicta. Genome Biol  vol. 8, (1) 10.1186/gb-2007-8-1-r9