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Department of Botany|College of Arts and Sciences

Cynthia Weinig

Specialization: Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics

Office: Aven Nelson, 110 A

Phone: 307-766-6378


Ph.D., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Indiana University
B.A., Honors Biology, Brown University
B.A., German, Brown University


Evolution of Development

Research Emphasis

The majority of variation segregating in natural populations is quantitative, and its expression depends on genetic background, environment, and interactions with these two factors. Traditionally, the evolution of quantitative traits has been described using statistical genetic techniques. However, one of the greatest advantages of these approaches is also one of their primary limitations: it is possible to estimate genetic variation and covariation in traits without any direct knowledge of the underlying loci or molecular genetic details. In like fashion, it is possible to estimate the pattern of natural selection on quantitative traits in the absence of knowledge of loci that determine fitness. Advances in collecting and analyzing molecular data promise to reveal the molecular genetic basis of quantitative trait variation. In our research, we use a combination of molecular and statistical genetic analyses in field settings.

Current Research Projects

Current research projects focus on understanding 1) genetic mechanisms of adaptation to competition and re-construction of genetic networks, 2) the role of the circadian clock in the expression of ecophysiological traits and in adaptation to seasonal settings, and 3) the genetic basis of quantitative variation in floral morphology.

Selected Publications 

Brock, M.T., P.X. Kover, and C. Weinig. 2012.  Natural variation in GA1 associates with floral morphology in Arabidopsis thaliana.  New Phytologist 195 : 58-70.

Edwards, C.E., B. E. Ewers, C.R McClung, and C. Weinig. 2012. Quantitative variation in water-use efficiency across watering regimes and its relationship with circadian, vegetative, reproductive, and leaf gas-exchange traits.  Molecular Plant 5 : 653-658.  

Edwards, C.E., B.E. Ewers, D. G. Williams, Q. Xie, P. Lou, X. Xu, C.R. McClung, and C. Weinig. 2011. The genetic architecture of ecophysiological and circadian traits in Brassica rapa. Genetics 189:375-390.

Edwards, CE, and C. Weinig. 2011. Trait integration and modularity in Brassica rapa across simulated seasonal settings. Heredity 106 : 661-667.    

Haselhorst, M., M. J. Rubin, C. E. Edwards, and C. Weinig.  2011. Genetic architecture of life history traits and environment-specific trade-offs. Molecular Ecology 20: 4042–4058.

Lou P., Q. Xie, X. Xu, C. Edwards, M.T. Brock, C. Weinig, and C.R. McClung. 2011. Genetic architecture of the circadian clock and flowering time in Brassica rapa. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 123:397–409.

Brock, M. T., J. M. Dechaine, F. Inquez-Luy, J. R. Stinchcombe, J. N. Maloof, and C. Weinig.  2010. An examination of the quantitative-genetic and QTL architecture underlying floral trait (co)variation across environments. Genetics 186: 1451 - 1465.

Brock, M. T., J. N. Maloof, and C. Weinig.  2010. Genes underlying quantitative variation in (agro)ecologically important traits: PIF4 (PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR 4) is associated with internode length, flowering time, and fruit set variation in Arabidopsis thaliana. Molecular Ecology 19 : 1187 - 1199.

Ranua, V. M., and C. Weinig.  2010. Mixed-mating strategies and their sensitivity to abiotic variation in Viola Lanceolata L. (Violaceae). Open Ecology Journal 3 : 83-94.

Willis, C. G., M. T. Brock, and C. Weinig. 2010. Genetic variation in tolerance of competition and neighbour suppression in Arabidopsis thaliana. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 23: 1412 - 1424.

Brock, M. T, J. R. Stinchcombe, and C. Weinig. 2009. Indirect effects of FRIGIDA:  floral morphology is altered by seasonal conditions associated with flowering time. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22 : 1826-1838.

Dechaine, J. M., G. Gardner, and C. Weinig. 2009. Phytochromes differentially mediate seed germination responses to light quality and temperature cues during seed maturations. Plant Cell and Environment 32 : 1297-1309.

Dykstra, A., M. T. Brock, L. F. Delph, and C. Weinig. 2009. Sex-Specific trade-offs and responses to foliar shade in the gynodioecious species, Silene vulgaris. International Journal of Plant Sciences 170: 575-583.

Edwards, C. E., M. S. Hasselhorst, A. M. McKnite, B. E. Ewers, D. G. Williams, and C. Weinig.  2009. Genotypes of Brassica rapa differ in sensitivity to plant-induced draw-downs of CO2 concentrations. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 119 : 991-1004.

Stinchcombe, J. R., C. Weinig, K. D. Heath, M. T. Brock, J. Schmitt. 2009. Polymorphic genes of major effect: consequences for variation, selection, and evolution. Genetics 182 : 911-922.

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