Loyola University Chicago

Department of Biology

F. Bryan Pickett

Assistant Department Chair, Associate Professor
Bachelor of Science, Biology, Arizona State University, Tempe AZ, 1986
Doctor of Philosophy, Genetics, Indiana University, Bloomington IN, 1992
NIH and American Cancer Society Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Oregon, Eugene OR, 1992 to 1996
Phone: 773.508.3367
Fax: 773.508.3646


My laboratory’s past “bench” research focused on embryogenesis and organogenesis in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Currently, we work on the Zebrafish, Danio rerio, although we still focus on embryogenesis and organogenesis. We use “jumping genes” (transposons) that our undergraduate and high school researchers have designed to examine the expression of genes involved in the synthesis of Retinoic Acid (RA). We are also using transposon genetic mosaicism to trace the contribution of embryonic cells to the larval caudal tail of the fish.  With both of these projects, we hope to address the research question “When and where in development do ‘naïve’ embryonic cells learn the identity of the tissue type they will be part of in an adult”. 

My laboratory’s “dry” research (bioinformatics and molecular evolutionary theory) centers on the Gene Duplication, Degeneration, and Complementation model of gene and genome evolution. I was privileged to develop this model with Drs. Allan Force, Michael Lynch, and John Postlethwait at the University of Oregon, the Benaroya Research Institute, and at Loyola.  Our theory papers appear to continue to be useful to others and continue to be well-cited in the literature. The DDC model is a “neutral” or “nearly neutral” evolutionary model. Currently, we are developing network models to explore the informational impacts of DDC-like processes.


Force, A., W. A. Cresko, F. B. Pickett, S. R. Proulx, C. Amemiya, and M. Lynch. 2005. The origin of subfunctions and modular gene regulation. Genetics 170:433-446.

Force, A., Cresko, W.F. and Pickett, F.B. (2004). Informational accretion, gene duplication, and the mechanisms of genetic module parcellation. in Modularity in Development and Evolution: G. Schlosser and G. Wagner, Eds. University of Chicago Press.

Prince, V.E. and Pickett, F.B. (2002). Splitting Pairs: Diverging fates of duplicated genes. Nature Reviews: Genetics. 3: 827-837 .

Saulsberry, A., Martin, P.R., O'Brien, T., Sieburth, L.E. and Pickett, F.B. (2002). The induced sector Arabidopsis apical embryonic fate map. Development 129: 3403-3410.

Woodrick, R., Martin, P. R., Birman,I., and Pickett, F.B. (2000) The Arabidopsis Embryonic Shoot Fate Map . Development 127:813-820.

Force, A., Lynch, M., Pickett, F. B., Amores, A., Yan, Y-L and Postlethwait, J. (1999). Preservation of Duplicate Genes by Complementary, Degenerative Mutations. Genetics 151: 1531-1545

Leyser, H.M.O., Pickett, F.B., Dharmaseri, S., and Estelle, M. (1996). Mutations in the AXR3 Gene of Arabidopsis Result in Altered Auxin Response. The Plant Journal, 10: 403-413.

Pickett, F.B., Champagne, M.M. and Meeks-Wagner, D.R., (1996). Temperature-Sensitive Mutations that Arrest Arabidopsis Shoot Development. Development 122, 3799-3807.

Pickett, F.B. and Meeks-Wagner, D.R., (1995). Seeing Double: Appreciating Genetic Redundancy. The Plant Cell 7: 1347-1356.

Timpte, C., Lincoln, C., Pickett, F.B., Turner, J., and Estelle, M., (1995). The AXR1 and AUX1 Genes of Arabidopsis Function in Separate Auxin Responsive Pathways. The Plant Journal, 8: 561-569.