Department of Biological Sciences

University of Cincinnati

Gross Lab

Evolutionary Genetics


(*= UC Contribution; G = Graduate student co-author; U = Undergraduate student co-author)


JB Gross and AK Powers (2022) Reinterpreting the work of Charles Breder: Sensory neuromasts and orbital skeleton variation in eyeless Astyanax. Developmental Biology Accepted

B Chen, T Mao, Y Liu, W Dai, X Li, AP Rajput, MR Pie, J Yang, JB Gross, M Meegaskumbura (2022) Sensory convergence in the world's largest cavefish radiation: patterns of neuromast evolution, and associated behaviour in Sinocyclocheilus Proc B 289:20221641.

Boggs TE, Friedman JS, Gross JB (2022) Alterations to cavefish red blood cells provide evidence of adaptation to reduced subterranean oxygen. Scientific Reports 12:3735.

Mao T-R, Liu Y-W, Meegaskumbura M, Yang J, Ellepola G, Senevirathne G, Fu C-H, Gross JB, Pie MR. (2021) Evolution in Sinocyclocheilus cavefish is marked by rate shifts, reversals and origin of novel traits. BMC Evolutionary Biology 21:45

WC Warren, A Aspiras, TE Boggs, R Borowsky, BM Carlson, F Damen, E Ferrufino, JB Gross, L Hillier, Z Hu, AC Keene, A Kenzior, JE Kowalko, C Tomlinson, M Kremitzki, ME Lemieux, T Lindsay-Graves, SE McGaugh, JT Miller, M Mommersteeg, RL Moran, R Peuß, E Rice, MR Riddle, I Sifuentes-Romero, BA Stanhope, CJ Tabin, S Thakur, Y Yoshiyuki, N Rohner. (2021) A chromosome level genome of Astyanax mexicanus surface fish for comparing population-specific genetic differences contributing to trait evolution. Nature Communications. 12:1447.

Boggs TE, Gross JB. (2021) Reduced oxygen as an environmental pressure in the evolution of the blind Mexican cavefish. Diversity. 13:26. doi: 10.3390/d13010026.

Powers AK *, Boggs TE, Gross JB* (2020) An asymmetric genetic signal associated with mechanosensory expansion in cave-adapted fish. Symmetry 12:1951

GB Bowland, J Koster, RM Bernstein, C Fiorello, M Brenn-White, J Liu, L Schwartz, A Campbell, D von Stade, J Beagley, J Pomerantz, A Gonzalez, M Quick, K McKinnon, A Aghaian, C Sparks and JB Gross (2020) Exploration of Hair Cortisol Concentrations and Implications of Stress in Hunting Dogs on the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve, Nicaragua. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 7:565346

S. McGaugh, J. Kowalko, E. Duboue, P. Lewis, T. Franz-Odendaal, N. Rohner, J.B. Gross, A. Keene. (2020) Dark world rises: The emergence of cavefish as a model for the study of evolution, behavior, and disease. Journal of Experimental Zoology B: Mol Dev Evol. Accepted. DOI: 10.1002/jez.b.22978

C.R. Sears, T. Boggs, J.B. Gross (2020) Dark-rearing uncovers novel gene expression patterns in an obligate cave-dwelling fish. Journal of Experimental Zoology B: Mol Dev Evol. Accepted.

A.K. Powers, D.J. Berning, J.B. Gross (2020) Parallel evolution of regressive and constructive craniofacial traits across distinct populations of Astyanax mexicanus. Journal of Experimental Zoology B: Mol Dev Evol. Accepted. doi:10.1002/jez.b.22932.

A.K. Powers, C.A. Garita-Alvarado, R. Rodiles-Hernández, D.J. Berning, J.B. Gross, C.P. Ornelas-García (2020) A geographical cline in craniofacial morphology across populations of Mesoamerican lake-dwelling fishes. Journal of Experimental Zoology A: Ecol Integr Physiol. 333:171-180.

*J.B. Gross, D. A. Sun, B. M. Carlson, S. Brodo-Abo, M. E. Protas (2020) Developmental transcriptomic analysis of the cave-dwelling crustacean, Asellus aquaticus. Genes 11:42.

D. Berning, H. Adams, H. Luc, *J.B. Gross (2019) In-frame indel mutations in the genome of the blind Mexican cavefish, Astyanax mexicanus. Genome Biology and Evolution. 11:2563-2573.

H. Luc, C. R. Sears, A. Raczka, and *J.B. Gross (2019) A simple and flexible protocol for whole-mount in situ hybridization for Astyanax embryos. Journal of Visualized Experiments 145:e59114. doi:10.3791/59114

J.B. Gross* and A.K. PowersG (2019) A natural animal model system of craniofacial anomalies: The blind Mexican cavefish. The Anatomical Record 303:24-29.

Herman A, Brandvain Y, Weagley J, Jeffery W, Bilandžija H, Borowsky R, Espinasa l, O'Quin K, Ornelas-García C, Yoshizawa M, Carlson B, Keene A, Kono T, Maldonado E, Gross JB, Rohner N, Warren W, McGaugh S (2018) The role of gene flow in rapid and repeated evolution of cave related traits in Mexican tetra, Astyanax mexicanus. Molecular Ecology 27:4397-4416.

J.B. Gross* and B.M. CarlsonG (2018) Implementing active learning into an upper-division biology course. CourseSource 5:

Carlson BM, Klingler I, Meyer B, J.B. Gross* (2018) Genetic analysis reveals candidate genes for activity QTL in the blind Mexican tetra, Astyanax mexicanus. PeerJ 2018: e5189. PMCID: PMC6054784

A.K. PowersG, T. Boggs and J.B. Gross* (2018) Canal neuromast position prefigures developmental patterning of the suborbital bone series in Astyanax cave- and surface-dwelling fish. Developmental Biology 441:252-261. PMCID: PMC6119090

A.K. PowersG, S. Kaplan, T. Boggs and J.B. Gross* (2018) Facial bone fragmentation in blind cavefish arises through two unusual ossification processes. Scientific Reports 8:7015. PMCID: PMC5934472

B.M. CarlsonG, J.B. Gross* (2018) Characterization and comparison of activity profiles exhibited by the cave and surface morphotypes of the blind Mexican tetra, Astyanax mexicanus. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology: Part C: Toxicology and Pharmacology 208:114-129. PMCID: PMC5817046

A.K. Powers, E. Davis U, S. Kaplan U, and J.B. Gross* (2017) Cranial asymmetry arises later in the life history of the blind Mexican cavefish, Astyanax mexicanus. PLoS ONE 12(5): e0177419.

J.B. Gross*, J. Weagley, B. Stahl, L. Ma, L. Espinasa, S. E. McGaugh. (2018) A local duplication of the Melanocortin receptor 1 locus in Astyanax. Genome 61:254-265.

B.A. Stahl and J.B. Gross* (2017) A comparative transcriptomic analysis of development in two Astyanax cavefish populations. JEZ B: Molecular Development and Evolution 328:515-532.

A. Lyon, A.K. Powers, J.B. Gross*, K.E. O'Quin (2017) Three loci control scleral ossification in blind Astyanax mexicanus cavefish. PLOS One 12:e0171061.

J.B. Gross*, A. Gangidine G, A. Powers G (2016) Asymmetric facial bone fragmentation mirrors asymmetric distribution of cranial neuromasts in blind Mexican cavefish. Symmetry 8:118.

J.B. Gross*, A. Powers G, E. Davis U, S. Kaplan U (2016) A pleiotropic interaction between vision loss and hypermelanism in Astyanax mexicanus cave x surface hybrids. BMC Evolutionary Biology 16:145.

J.B. Gross*, B.A. Stahl G, A.J. Krutzler G, B.M. Carlson G (2016) Natural bone fragmentation in the blind cave-dwelling fish: Candidate gene identification through integrative comparative genomics. Evolution & Development 18:7-18.

J.B. Gross*, A. Gangidine U, R. E. Schafer U (2016) Undergraduates learn evolution through teaching kindergartners about blind Mexican cavefish. CourseSource 3:1-13.

B. A. Stahl G, J.B. Gross*, D. I. Speiser, T. H. Oakley, N. H. Patel, D. B. Gould, M. E. Protas (2015) A transcriptomic analysis of cave, surface, and hybrid isopod crustaceans of the species Asellus aquaticus. PLoS One 10:e0140484

B. A. Stahl G, J.B. Gross* (2015) Alterations in Mc1r gene expression are associated with regressive pigmentation in Astyanax cavefish. Development, Genes and Evolution 6:367-375.

J.B. Gross*, B. Meyer U, M. Perkins U (2015) The rise of Astyanax cavefish. Developmental Dynamics 244:1031-1038.

B.M. Carlson G, S.W. Onusko U, J.B. Gross* (2015) A high-density linkage map for Astyanax mexicanus using genotyping-by-sequencing technology. G3: Genes | Genomes | Genetics 5:241-251

Piekarski, N., J.B. Gross*, J. Hanken (2014) Evolutionary conservation and lability of the embryonic derivation of the vertebrate skull. Nature Communications 5:5661. (*co-first author).

McGaugh, S.E., J.B. Gross*, B. Aken, M. Blin, R. Borowsky, D. Chalopin,     H. Hinaux, W.R. Jeffery, A. Keene, L. Ma, P. Minx, D. Murphy, K.E. O'Quin, S. Rétaux, N. Rohner, S.M.J. Searle, B.A. Stahl G, C. Tabin, J-N. Volff, M. Yoshizawa, W.C. Warren (2014) The cavefish genome reveals candidate genes for eye loss. Nature Communications 5:5307.

*J.B. Gross, A. J. Krutzler G, B. M. Carlson G (2014) Complex craniofacial changes in blind cave-dwelling fish are mediated by genetically symmetric and asymmetric loci. Genetics 196:1303-1319.

Epinasa, L., D. M. Centone, *J. B. Gross (2014) A contemporary analysis of the presence of a loss-of-function Oca2 allele within the Micos Astyanax cave fish population. Speleobiology Notes 6:48-54.

*J.B. Gross & H. Wilkens (2013) Albinism in phylogenetically and geographically distinct populations of Astyanax cavefish arises through the same loss-of-function Oca2 allele. Heredity 111:122-130.

*J.B. Gross, A. Furterer U, B.M. Carlson G, B.A. Stahl G (2013) An integrated transcriptome-wide analysis of cave and surface dwelling Astyanax mexicanus. PLoS ONE 8: e55659.

*J.B. Gross (2012b) The complex origin of Astyanax cavefish. BMC Evol Biol 12:105.

*J.B. Gross, Kerney, R., Hanken, J., C.J. Tabin (2011) Molecular anatomy of the developing limb bud in the coquí frog, Eleutherodactylus coqui Evolution & Development 13:415-426.

*Kerney, R., J.B. Gross, J. Hanken (2010) Early cranial patterning in the direct-developing frog Eleutherodactylus coqui revealed through gene expression. Evolution & Development 12(4):373-382.

J.B. Gross, R. Borowsky, C.J. Tabin (2009) A novel role for Mc1r in the parallel evolution of depigmentation in independent populations of the cavefish, Astyanax mexicanus. PLoS Genetics 5: e1000326.

J.B. Gross, M. Protas, M. Conrad, P.E. Scheid, O. Vidal, W.R. Jeffery, R. Borowsky, C.J. Tabin (2008) Synteny and candidate gene prediction using an anchored linkage map of Astyanax mexicanus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 105:20106-20111.

J.B. Gross, & J. Hanken (2008) Segmentation of the vertebrate skull: neural-crest derivation of adult cartilages in the clawed frog, Xenopus laevis. Integrative and Comparative Biology 48:681-696.

J.B. Gross, & J. Hanken (2008) Review of fate-mapping studies of osteogenic cranial neural crest in vertebrates. Developmental Biology 317:389-400.

Protas, M., I. Tabansky, M. Conrad, J.B. Gross, O. Vidal, C.J. Tabin, R. Borowsky (2008) Multi-trait evolution in a cave fish, Astyanax mexicanus. Evolution and Development 10:196-209

Kerney, R., J.B. Gross, J. Hanken (2007) Runx2 is essential for larval hyobranchial cartilage formation in Xenopus laevis. Developmental Dynamics 236:1650-1662

Protas, M., M. Conrad, J.B. Gross, C. Tabin & R. Borowsky (2007) Regressive evolution in the Mexican Cave Tetra, Astyanax mexicanus. Current Biology 17:1-3

J.B. Gross, J. Hanken, E. Oglesby, and N. Marsh-Armstrong (2006) Use of a ROSA26:GFP transgenic line for long-term Xenopus fate-mapping studies. Journal of Anatomy 209:401-413

Hanken, J. & J.B. Gross (2005) Evolution of cranial development and the role of neural crest: Insights from amphibians. Journal of Anatomy 207:437-446

J.B. Gross, & J. Hanken (2005) Cranial neural crest contributes to the bony skull vault in adult Xenopus laevis: insights from cell labeling studies. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B Mol Dev Evol 304B:169-176.

J.B. Gross, & J. Hanken (2004) Use of fluorescent dextran conjugates as a long-term marker of the osteogenic neural crest in anurans. Developmental Dynamics 230(1):100-6.

J.B. Gross, A. A. Gottlieb, and L.A. Barlow (2003) Gustatory neurons derived from epibranchial placodes are attracted to and trophically supported by taste bud-bearing endoderm in vitro. Developmental Biology 264 (2):467-481.



*J.B. Gross, J. Torres-Paz, S. Rétaux., T.E. Boggs (2020) Chapter 11: Developmental and genetic basis of troglomorphic traits in the teleost fish Astyanax mexicanus. In: Groundwater Ecology and Evolution. Editors: F. Malard, C. Greibler, S. Rétaux. Elsevier. Invited Contributor

*J.B. Gross and D. J. Berning (2018) Cave Evolution; Second Edition. Invited article – John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Encyclopedia of Life Sciences (eLS) Accepted.

B.A. Stahl, C.R. Sears, L. Ma, M. Perkins, J.B. Gross* (2018) “Pmela and Tyrp1b contribute to melanophore variation in Mexican cavefish.” In Evolutionary Biology: Origin and Evolution of Biodiversity. Volume 21. P. Pontarotti and M.-H. Rome, editors. Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg.

J.B. Gross* (2016) “Convergence and parallelism in Astyanax cave-dwelling fish.” In Evolutionary Biology. Volume 19. P. Pontarotti and M.-H. Rome, editors. Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg.

J.B. Gross* (2016) “A case for conservation of the blind Mexican cavefish: An invaluable model for evolutionary and genomic studies.” Chapter 19. In Proceedings of the First Research Network on Biology, Management and Conservation of Native Fauna in Disturbed Environments (REFAMA). A. R. Bautista and R. Pineda, editors.

J.B. Gross*, M.K. Powers (2015) "The evolution of the cavefish craniofacial complex." In Biology and Evolution of the Mexican Cavefish (First Edition). A.C. Keene, M. Yoshizawa and S.E. McGaugh, editors. Elsevier B.V., Amsterdam.

*J.B. Gross, (2012a) Cave Evolution. Invited article - Encyclopedia of Life Sciences (eLS; Wiley Press). John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0023628.

*J.B. Gross, C.J. Tabin (2010) Evolutionary genetics of pigmentation loss in the blind Mexican cavefish. In: In search of the causes of evolution. From field observations to mechanisms. Eds: Peter R Grant and Rosemary Grant. Princeton Press: Princeton, NJ.