Welcome to my (minimal) scientific homepage - Toni Ingolf Gossmann

I am a researcher in the field of evolutionary biology. I work on different topics that are all connected by my passion for knowledge and creativity. At the moment I am at the University of Sheffield as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow.

Research Interests

(1) Recombination rate variation and Hill-Robertson Interference in the great tit (Parus major) genome

A special feature of birds is the very high karyotype conservation and heterogeneity in chromosome size causing substantial variation in recombination rate between chromosomes. The great tit (Parus major) has a large, panmictic population, making it an ideal system to study genome-wide patterns of recombination rate variation and its effects on patterns of polymorphism and divergence. I am using a fine-scale recombination map to scan the great tit genome for traces of positive and purifying selection to illustrate how recombination has facilitated the action of natural selection due to Hill-Robertson-Interference.

(2) The role of positive and negative selection in the plant genome of Arabidopsis thaliana

Arabidopsis thaliana is a model plant species and its natural habitat is Eurasia and North Africa. It was the first plant genome ever sequenced and as a part of the 1001 genome project a large number of accessions have been sequenced. This data can be used to address a manifold of questions - I am interested in two in particular - first, what is the long term impact of whole genome duplications in Arabidopsis thaliana and second, what are the evolutionary forces that have shaped patterns of diversity and divergence in reproductive genes.

(3) Evolution of NAD metabolism

NAD (Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) is one the most prominent cofactors and involved in thousands of redox reactions. However, recently it has gained increased attention for its substrate role in signalling, DNA repair and protein regulation. Together with my collaborators at the University of Bergen and University of Jena we investigate evolutionary patterns that have shaped the diversity of NAD biosynthesis and consumption in humans and other eukaryotes.

(4) Selective forces acting in natural populations and theoretical population genetics

I also focus on theoretical questions of population genetics. The major underlying concepts of population genetics have been established from the thirties to seventieth of the last century. However, clearly there is a need to refine the theoretical models when applied to data as mathematical assumption usually turn out to be too simplistic. I have been involved in multiple projects targeting such refinements, for example by quantifying the variation of the effective population size within a genome and the effect of fluctuating selection on tests of positive selection. I also investigate the role of background selection in shaping diversity in a framework of varying recombination rate and demographic change.

Contact me

Toni Ingolf Gossmann, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow

Department of Animal & Plant Sciences
Western Bank
University of Sheffield
Sheffield, S10 2TN
United Kingdom


Twitter Publons

Current Collaborators

David Waxman @ Fudan University (China)
Mathias Ziegler @ University of Bergen (Norway)
Markus Ralser @ University of Cambridge (UK)
Ines Heiland @ University of Tromsø (Norway)
Mirre Simons @ University of Sheffield (UK)
Veronika Laine @ NIOO-KNAW (Netherlands)
Kees van Oers @ NIOO-KNAW (Netherlands)
Miriam Liedvogel @ Max Planck Institute Ploen (Germany)

List of Publications

Google Scholar Pubmed ResearchGate 

Arina Afanasyeva*, Mathias Bockwoldt*, Christopher R Cooney, Ines Heiland, Toni I Gossmann: Human long intrinsically disordered protein regions are frequent targets of positive selection. Genome Research (in press)

Pádraic Corcoran*, Toni I Gossmann*, Henry J Barton, Jon Slate, Kai Zeng: Determinants of the efficacy of natural selection on coding and noncoding variability in two passerine species. Genome Biology and Evolution 10/2017;, DOI:10.1093/gbe/evx213 (* co-first authors)

Dennis Kappei, Marion Scheibe, Maciej Paszkowski-Rogacz, Alina Bluhm, Toni I Gossmann, Sabrina Dietz, Mario Dejung, Holger Herlyn, Frank Buchholz, Matthias Mann, Falk Butter: Phylointeractomics reconstructs functional evolution of protein binding. Nature Communications 02/2017; 8:14334., DOI:10.1038/ncomms14334

Hassan Shafiey, Toni I Gossmann, David Waxman: Evolutionary control: Targeted change of allele frequencies in natural populations using externally directed evolution. Journal of Theoretical Biology 01/2017; 419., DOI:10.1016/j.jtbi.2017.01.023

Toni I Gossmann*, Dounia Saleh*, Marc W. Schmid, Michael A. Spence, Karl J. Schmid: Transcriptomes of plant gametophytes have a higher proportion of rapidly evolving and young genes than sporophytes. Molecular Biology and Evolution 03/2016; DOI:10.1093/molbev/msw044 (* co-first authors)

Veronika N Laine*, Toni I Gossmann*, Kyle M Schachtschneider*, Colin J Garroway, Ole Madsen, Koen JF Verhoeven, Victor de Jager, Hendrik-Jan Megens, Wesley C Warren, Patrick Minx, Richard PMA Crooijmans, Padraic Corcoran, The Great Tit HapMap Consortium, Ben C Sheldon, Jon Slate, Kai Zeng, Kees van Oers, Marcel E Visser, Martien AM Groenen: Evolutionary signals of selection on cognition from the great tit genome and methylome. Nature Communications 01/2016; 7:10474. DOI:10.1038/ncomms10474 (* co-first authors)

Lei Zhao, Toni I Gossmann, David Waxman: A modified Wright-Fisher model that incorporates Ne: A variant of the standard model with increased biological realism and reduced computational complexity. Journal of Theoretical Biology 01/2016; DOI:10.1016/j.jtbi.2016.01.002

Toni I Gossmann, Anna W Santure, Ben C Sheldon, Jon Slate, Kai Zeng: Highly Variable Recombinational Landscape Modulates Efficacy of Natural Selection in Birds. Genome Biology and Evolution 07/2014; 6(8). DOI:10.1093/gbe/evu157

Toni I Gossmann, Mathias Ziegler: Sequence divergence and diversity suggests ongoing functional diversification of vertebrate NAD metabolism. DNA Repair 07/2014; 23. DOI:10.1016/j.dnarep.2014.07.005

Toni I Gossmann, David Waxman, Adam Eyre-Walker: Fluctuating Selection Models and Mcdonald-Kreitman Type Analyses. PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e84540. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0084540

Toni I Gossmann, Marc W Schmid, Ueli Grossniklaus, Karl J Schmid: Selection-Driven Evolution of Sex-Biased Genes Is Consistent with Sexual Selection in Arabidopsis thaliana. Molecular Biology and Evolution 11/2013; 31(3). DOI:10.1093/molbev/mst226

Toni I Gossmann, Peter D Keightley, Adam Eyre-Walker: The Effect of Variation in the Effective Population Size on the Rate of Adaptive Molecular Evolution in Eukaryotes. Genome Biology and Evolution 03/2012; 4(5):658-67. DOI:10.1093/gbe/evs027

Toni I Gossmann, Mathias Ziegler, Pål Puntervoll, Luis F de Figueiredo, Stefan Schuster, Ines Heiland: NAD+ biosynthesis and salvage - A phylogenetic perspective. FEBS Journal 03/2012; 279(18):3355-63. DOI:10.1111/j.1742-4658.2012.08559.x

Toni I Gossmann, Karl J Schmid: Selection-Driven Divergence After Gene Duplication in Arabidopsis thaliana. Journal of Molecular Evolution 10/2011; 73(3-4):153-65. DOI:10.1007/s00239-011-9463-2

Toni I Gossmann, Megan Woolfit, Adam Eyre-Walker: Quantifying the Variation in the Effective Population Size Within a Genome. Genetics 09/2011; 189(4):1389-402. DOI:10.1534/genetics.111.132654

Luis F de Figueiredo, Toni I Gossmann, Mathias Ziegler, Stefan Schuster: Pathway Analysis of NAD+ metabolism. Biochemical Journal 07/2011; 439(2):341-8. DOI:10.1042/BJ20110320

Corinna Lau, Christian Dölle, Toni I Gossmann, Line Agledal, Marc Niere, Mathias Ziegler: Isoform-specific targeting and interaction domains (ISTIDs) in human nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyltransferases (NMNATs). Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2010; 285(24):18868-76. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M110.107631

Toni I Gossmann, Bao-Hua Song, Aaron J Windsor, Thomas Mitchell-Olds, Christopher J Dixon, Maxim V Kapralov, Dmitry A Filatov, Adam Eyre-Walker: Genome Wide Analyses Reveal Little Evidence for Adaptive Evolution in Many Plant Species. Molecular Biology and Evolution 03/2010; 27(8):1822-32. DOI:10.1093/molbev/msq079