in revision, under review, in preparation


Medina-Jiménez BI, Budd GE, Pechmann M, Posnien N, Janssen R (under review BMC Evo Devo) “Single-cell sequencing reveals novel insights into spider eye development.”


Jackson D#*, Cerveau N*, Posnien N#* (under review, invited review for Frontiers in Zoology) “Assembling and using transcriptomes de novo based on short read data from emerging model organisms; recommendations and cautions for the novice”

*equal contribution; #corresponding authors


Torres-Oliva M*, Buchberger E*, Buffry AD*, Kittelmann M, Sumner-Rooney L, Gaspar PMC, Bullinger GC, Guerrero G, Casares F, Arif S#, Posnien N#, Nunes DDS#, McGregor AP#, Almudi I# (in prep) "Differences in orthodenticle expression promote ommatidial size variation between Drosophila species"

preprint available here.

*equal contribution

#corresponding authors  


Lu T-H, Wiegleb G, Reim L, Ahrend J, Torres-Oliva M, Buchberger E, Posnien N (in prep) “Genes related to peripodial epithelium development contribute to natural variation in eye size and shape between Drosophila melanogaster and D. mauritiana


Dang TKL*, Reis M*, Posnien N (in prep) „Integration of multi-omics data reveals cellular processes underlying eye size variation between Drosophila americana and D. novamexicana

*equal contribution


Torres-Oliva M*, Buchberger E*, Almudi I, Lu T-H, Posnien N (in prep) “Regulatory divergence in closely related Drosophila species depends on the architecture of developmental gene regulatory networks.”

*equal contribution




Hoedjes KM*, Grath S*, Posnien N*, Ritchie MG*, Schlötterer C* et al. (2024). “From whole bodies to single cells: a guide to transcriptomic approaches for ecology and evolutionary biology.” Molecular Ecology, 00, e17382.

doi: 10.1111/mec.17382

*equal contribution 




Posnien N, Hunnekuhl VS, Bucher G (2023). “Gene Expression Mapping of the Neuroectoderm across Phyla – Conservation and Divergence of Early Brain Anlagen between Insects and Vertebrates.” eLife 12 (September). 

doi: 10.7554/elife.92242




Wiegleb G, Reinhardt S, Dahl A, Posnien N (2022). "Tissue dissociation for single-cell and single-nuclei RNA sequencing for low amounts of input material." Frontiers in Zoology 19:27.

doi: 10.1186/s12983-022-00472-x

preprint: here


Posnien N#, Beldade P, Casares F (2022) "Editorial: Evolution of Postembryonic Development" Front. Ecol. Evol.

doi: 10.3389/fevo.2022.859670

#corresponding author




Reis M*, Siomava N*, Wimmer EA, Posnien N (2021) “Conserved and Divergent Aspects of Plasticity and Sexual Dimorphism in Wing Size and Shape in Three Diptera." Front. Ecol. Evol. 9:660546.

doi: 10.3389/fevo.2021.660546

preprint: here.  


Buchberger E, Bilen A, Ayaz S, Salamanca D, Matas de las Heras C, Niksic A, Almudi I, Torres-Oliva M, Casares F, Posnien N (2021) “Variation in pleiotropic hub gene expression is associated with interspecific differences in head shape and eye size in Drosophila.” Molecular Biology and Evolution; msaa335.

doi: 10.1093/molbev/msaa335




Reis M, Wiegleb G, Claude J, Lata R, Horchler B, Ha N-T, Reimer C, Vieira CP, Vieira J, Posnien N (2020). “Multiple loci linked to inversions are associated with eye size variation in species of the Drosophila virilis phylad.” Scientific Reports.

doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-69719-z


Kapun M, Barrón MG, [… incl. Posnien N…], Flatt T, González J (2020). "Genomic Analysis of European Drosophila melanogaster Populations Reveals Longitudinal Structure, Continent-Wide Selection, and Previously Unknown DNA Viruses." Molecular Biology and Evolution; msaa120.

doi: 10.1093/molbev/msaa120


Cordellier M+, Schneider JM+, Uhl G+, Posnien N+ (2020). "Sex differences in spiders: from phenotype to genomics." Development Genes and Evolution.

doi: 10.1007/s00427-020-00657-6

+ equal contribution/corresponding authors


Herndon N, Shelton J, [… incl. Posnien N…], Brown SJ, Bucher G (2020). "Enhanced genome assembly and a new official gene set for Tribolium castaneum." BMC Genomics 21:47. 

doi: 10.1186/s12864-019-6394-6




Buchberger E, Reis M, Lu T-H, Posnien N (2019) "Context dependent gene regulation and implications for evolutionary studies." Genes 10(7), 492 

doi: 10.3390/genes10070492




Reis M, Vieira PC, Lata R, Posnien N, Vieira J (2018) "Origin and consequences of chromosomal inversions in the virilis group of Drosophila." Genome Biology and Evolution; evy239,

doi: 10.1093/gbe/evy239


Posnien N (2018) “Phenotyping in evo-devo” in Modelling and Quantitative Approaches to Evo-Devo (section editor: Philipp Mitteröcker) as part of Evolutionary Developmental Biology - A Reference Guide (Editors: Laura Nuño de la Rosa and Gerd B. Müller); pp. 1–12. Cham: Springer International Publishing.

doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-33038-9_121-1 


Torres-Oliva M, Schneider J, Wiegleb G, Kaufholz F, Posnien N (2018) “Dynamic genome wide expression profiling of Drosophila head development reveals a novel role of Hunchback in retinal glia cell development and blood-brain barrier integrity.” PLoS Genet 14(1):e1007180.




Pechmann M, Benton MA, Kenny NJ, Posnien N, Roth S (2017) „A novel role for Ets4 in axis specification and cell migration in the spider Parasteatoda tepidariorum.” eLife 2017;6:e27590.

doi: 10.7554/eLife.27590


Schwager EE, […], Posnien N*, Richards S*, McGregor AP* (2017) “The house spider genome reveals a whole genome duplication during arachnid evolution.” BMC Biology 201715:62. 

doi: 10.1186/s12915-017-0399-x


Khatib AA, Siomava N, Iannini A, Posnien N, Casares F (2017) Specific expression and function of the Six3 optix in Drosophila serially homologous organs. Biology Open 2017




Torres-Oliva M, Almudí I, McGregor AP, Posnien N (2016) A robust (re-)annotation approach to generate unbiased mapping references for RNA-seq-based analyses of differential expression across closely related species. BMC Genomics.

doi: 10.1186/s12864-016-2646-x


Siomava N, Wimmer EA*, Posnien N* (2016) Size relationships of different body parts in the three dipteran species Drosophila melanogaster, Ceratitis capitata and Musca domestica. Dev Genes Evol.

doi: 10.1007/s00427-016-0543-6


Prpic N-M, Posnien N (2016) Size and shape—integration of morphometrics, mathematical modelling, developmental and evolutionary biology. Dev Genes Evol 1–4.

doi: 10.1007/s00427-016-0536-5




Schomburg C, Turetzek N, Schacht MI, Schneider J, Kirfel P, Prpic N-M and Posnien N (2015) Molecular characterization and embryonic origin of the eyes in the common house spider Parasteatoda tepidariorum. EvoDevo 2015, 6:15.


press coverage: 

Press release Uni Göttingen

Der Standard

Göttinger Tageblatt




Hilbrant M, Almudi I, Leite DJ, Kuncheria L, Posnien N, Nunes MDS, McGregor AP (2014) Sexual dimorphism and natural variation within and among species in the Drosophila retinal mosaic. BMC Evolutionary Biology 14: 240.


Posnien N*+, Zeng V*, Schwager EE, Pechmann M, Hilbrant M, Keefe JD, Damen, WGM, Prpic, NM, McGregor AP, Extavour CG+ (2014) A Comprehensive Reference Transcriptome Resource for the Common House Spider Parasteatoda tepidariorum. PLoS ONE 9: e104885.

+corresponding authors 


press coverage: 


Göttinger Tageblatt


Hogvall M, Schönauer A, Budd GE, McGregor AP, Posnien N, Janssen, R (2014) Analysis of the Wnt gene repertoire in an onychophoran provides new insights into the evolution of segmentation. EvoDevo 5: 14.


Janssen R, Posnien N (2014). Identification and embryonic expression of Wnt2, Wnt4, Wnt5 and Wnt9 in the millipede Glomeris marginata (Myriapoda: Diplopoda). Gene Expression Patterns 14: 55–61.




Arif S, Hilbrant M, Hopfen C, Almudi I, Nunes MDS, Posnien N, Kuncheria L, Tanaka K, Mitteröcker P, Schlötterer C, McGregor AP (2013). Genetic and Developmental Analysis of Differences in Eye and Face Morphology Between Drosophila simulans and Drosophila mauritiana. Evolution & Development 15, 4 (2013): 257–267. 


Kittelmann S, Ulrich J, Posnien N, Bucher G (2013) Changes in anterior head patterning underlie the evolution of long germ embryogenesis. Developmental Biology 374: 174–184.




Fu J*, Posnien N*, Bolognesi R, Fischer TD, Rayl P, Oberhofer G, Kitzmann P, Brown SJ, and Bucher G (2012) Asymmetrically Expressed Axin Required for Anterior Development in Tribolium. PNAS 109(20): 7782–7786


Posnien N*, Hopfen C*, Hilbrant M, Ramos-Womack M, Murat S, Schönauer A, Herbert SL, et al. (2012) Evolution of Eye Morphology and Rhodopsin Expression in the Drosophila melanogaster Species Subgroup. PLoS ONE 7(5): e37346




Posnien N, Koniszewski N, Bucher G (2011) Insect Tc-six4 marks a unit with similarity to vertebrate placodes. Dev Biol 350: 208-216


Posnien N*, Koniszewski NDB*, Hein HJ, Bucher G (2011) Candidate Gene Screen in the Red Flour Beetle Tribolium Reveals Six3 as Ancient Regulator of Anterior Median Head and Central Complex Development. PLoS Genet 7(12): e1002416. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002416




Posnien N, Bucher G (2010) Formation of the insect head involves lateral contribution of the intercalary segment, which depends on Tc-labial function. Dev Biol 338: 107-116.


Posnien N, Schinko J, Kittelmann S, Bucher G (2010) Genetics, development and composition of the insect head - A beetle's view. Arthropod Struct Dev 39: 399-410.


Steinmetz PRH, Urbach R, Posnien N, Eriksson J, Kostyuchenko RP, Brena C, Guy K, Akam M, Bucher G, Arendt D (2010) Six3 demarcates the anterior-most developing brain region in bilaterian animals. EvoDevo 2010, 1:14




Posnien N, Bashasab F, & Bucher G (2009) The insect upper lip (labrum) is a nonsegmental appendage-like structure. Evol Dev 11(5):480-488


Yang X, Weber M, Zarinkamar N, Posnien N, Friedrich F, et al. (2009) Probing the Drosophila retinal determination gene network in Tribolium (II): The Pax6 genes eyeless and twin of eyeless. Dev Biol 333: 215-227.


Posnien N, Schinko J, Grossmann D, Shippy TD, Konopova B, et al. (2009) RNAi in the Red Flour Beetle (Tribolium). CSH Protoc 2009: pdb prot5256.


Schinko J, Posnien N, Kittelmann S, Koniszewski N, Bucher G (2009) Single and double whole-mount in situ hybridization in red flour beetle (Tribolium) embryos. CSH Protoc 2009: pdb prot5258.




Richards S, Gibbs RA, Weinstock GM, Brown SJ, Denell R, et al. (including Posnien N) (2008) The genome of the model beetle and pest Tribolium castaneum. Nature 452: 949-955.


Schinko JB, Kreuzer N, Offen N, Posnien N, Wimmer EA, et al. (2008) Divergent functions of orthodenticle, empty spiracles and buttonhead in early head patterning of the beetle Tribolium castaneum (Coleoptera). Dev Biol 317: 600-613.


* - equal contribution