Dr. Steve Perlman

Dr. Steve Perlman
Office: CUN 160f

Areas of research focus

  • Evolution
  • Entomology
  • Symbiosis
  • Host-parasite interactions
  • Selfish genetic elements

My research focuses on the evolution and ecology of associations between insects and the diverse organisms that infect them, from parasites and pathogens to beneficial symbionts.

Most recently, my major area of focus has been on bacterial symbionts that are transmitted primarily from mothers to their offspring, often via eggs. These inherited bacteria are ubiquitous and extremely important in the evolution and ecology of their hosts. For example, many of these symbionts protect their hosts against natural enemies.

I am also interested in selfish genetic elements, unusual genetic systems and life histories, and in insects and symbiosis in general.

The Perlman Lab

  • Biology 312 - Entomology
  • Biology 435 - Molecular Evolution
  • Biology 565 - Research and Communication Skills in Biology

Dudzic JP, Curtis CI, Gowen BE, Perlman SJ.2022. A highly divergent Wolbachia with a tiny genome in an insect-parasitic tylenchid nematode. Proceeding of the Royal Society B. 289:20221518

Pollmann M, Moore LD, Krimmer E, D'Alvise P, Hasselmann M, Perlman SJ, Ballinger MJ, Steidle JLM, Gottlieb Y. 2022. Highly transmissible cytoplasmic incompatibility by the extracellular insect symbiont Spiroplasma. iScience. 25(5):104335

Martinson VG, Gawryluk RMR, Gowen BE, Curtis CI, Jaenike J, Perlman SJ. 2020. Multiple origins of obligate nematode and insect symbionts by a clade of bacteria closely related to plant pathogens. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 117(50):31979-31986

Oliver KM, Perlman SJ. 2020. Toxin-mediated protection against natural enemies by insect defensive symbionts. Advances in Insect Physiology. 58:277-315

Keais GL, Liu S, Perlman SJ. 2020. Autosomal suppression and fitness costs of an old driving X chromosome in Drosophila testacea. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 33:619-628

Ballinger MJ, Gawryluk RMR, Perlman SP. 2019. Toxin and genome evolution in a Drosophila defensive symbiosis. Genome Biology and Evolution. 11: 253-262

Hamilton PT, Hodson CN, Curtis CI, Perlman SJ. 2018. Genetics and genomics of an unusual selfish sex ratio distortion in an insect. Current Biology. 28: 3864–3870

Vorburger C, Perlman SJ. 2018. The role of defensive symbionts in host–parasite coevolution. Biological Reviews. 93: 1747-1764