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Dr. Robert Literman

Dr. Robert Literman

  • Former Graduate Student
I completed my PhD in 2017 in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology program. I am interested in the evolution and functional basis of sex determination in reptiles. I am also a herp enthusiast, and have worked with reptiles in Costa Rica and New Zealand.

Upon graduation I joined the laboratory of Rachel Schwartz at the University of Rhode Island to work on Phylogenomics, and later received an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship to develop software to filter noisy data for phylogenomic analysis, and to develop workshops to increase the inclusiveness of computational programs at URI.

I am now a research fellow at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition in the FDA.

More Information

15.  Bista B, Wu Z, Literman R, and Valenzuela N. 2021. Thermosensitive sex chromosome dosage compensation in ZZ/ZW softshell turtles, Apalone spinifera. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. In press. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2020.0101

14. Valenzuela N, R Literman, JL Neuwald, BA Mizoguchi, JB Iverson, JL Riley, and JD Litzgus. 2019. Extreme thermal fluctuations from climate change unexpectedly accelerate demographic collapse of vertebrates with temperature-dependent sex determination. Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-40597-4

13. Radhakrishnan S, Literman R, Neuwald JL, and Valenzuela N. 2018. Thermal response of epigenetic genes informs turtle sex determination with and without sex chromosomes. Sexual Development 12:308–319.

12. Literman R,, Burrett A, Bista B, and Valenzuela N. 2018. Putative independent evolutionary reversals from genotypic to temperature-dependent sex determination are associated with accelerated evolution of sex-determining genes in turtles. Journal of Molecular Evolution. 86:11–26.

11. Radhakrishnan S, Literman R,, Mizoguchi B, and Valenzuela N. 2017. MeDIPseq and nCpG analyses illuminate sexually dimorphic methylation of gonadal development genes with high historic methylation in turtle hatchlings with temperature-dependent sex determination. Epigenetics & ChromatinDOI 10.1186/s13072-017-0136-2

10. Literman R, S Radhakrishnan, J Tamplin, R Burke, C Dresser, and Valenzuela N. 2017. Development of sexing markers in Glyptemys insculpta and Apalone spinifera turtles uncovers an XX/XY sex-determining system in the critically-endangered bog turtle Glyptemys muhlenbergii.Conservation Genetic Resources. DOI 10.1007/s12686-017-0711-7.

9. Radhakrishnan S, R Literman, J Neuwald, A Severin, and Valenzuela N. 2017. Transcriptomic responses to environmental temperature by turtles with temperature-dependent and genotypic sex determination assessed by RNAseq inform the genetic architecture of embryonic gonadal development. PLoS ONE 12(3): e0172044.

8. Twyman H, Valenzuela N, Literman R, Andersson S, Mundy NI. Seeing red to being red: conserved genetic mechanism for red cone oil droplets and co-option for red coloration in birds and turtles. 2016. Proceedings of The Royal Society B. 283: : 20161208.

7. Montiel EE, D Badenhorst, LS Lee, R Literman, V Trifonov, and N Valenzuela. 2016. Cytogenetic insights into the evolution of chromosomes and sex determination reveal striking homology of turtle sex chromosomes to amphibian autosomes. Cytogenetic and Genome Research. DOI: 10.1159/000447478.

6. Badenhorst D, LD Hillier, R Literman, EE Montiel, S Radhakrishnan, P Minx, DE Janes, WC Warren, SV Edwards, and N Valenzuela. 2015. Physical mapping and refinement of the painted turtle genome (Chrysemys picta) inform amniote genome evolution and challenges turtle-bird chromosomal conservation. Genome Biology and Evolution 7(7):2038–2050.

5. Janes DE, Organ CL, Stiglec R, O’Meally D, Sarre SD, Georges A, Graves JAM, Valenzuela N, Literman R, Rutherford K, Gemmell N, Iverson JB, Tamplin JW, Edwards SV, Ezaz T. 2014. Molecular evolution of Dmrt1 accompanies change of sex-determining mechanisms in Reptilia. Biology Letters 9:111-117.

4. Literman R, Badenhorst D, Valenzuela N. 2014. QPCR-based molecular sexing by copy number variation in rRNA genes and its utility for sex identification in soft-shell turtles. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 5: 872-880.

3. Valenzuela N, D Badenhorst, EE Montiel Jimenez, R. Literman. 2014. Molecular cytogenetic search for cryptic sex chromosomes in painted turtles Chrysemys pictaCytogenetic and Genome Research 144: 39-46.

2. Shaffer HB, P Minx, DE Warren, AM Shedlock, RC Thomson, N Valenzuela,....R. Literman et 40 altri. 2013. The western painted turtle genome, a model for the evolution of extreme physiological adaptations in a slowly evolving lineage. Genome Biology. doi:10.1186/gb-2013-14-3-r28

1. Valenzuela N., J. Neuwald, and R. Literman. 2013. Transcriptional evolution underlying vertebrate sexual development. Developmental Dynamics. 242:307–319.