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William Murphy

William Murphy


Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences

4458 TAMU
College Station , TX 77843-4458
Office Phone: (979) 458-0906


  1. B.S., Biological Sciences, Illinois State University, 1992
  2. Ph.D., Biological Science, Tulsa University, 1997


Research Interests:

Mammalian Comparative Genomics. My laboratory uses integrative phylogenomic approaches to better understand mammalian biodiversity in the contexts of speciation, biogeography and conservation, and the role of genome evolution in these processes. My recent research focuses on hybridization and the evolution of reproductive isolation in the cat family, mammalian sex chromosome evolution, and the genetic determinants of olfaction.

Representative Publications:

1. Springer, M.S., Signore, A.V., Paijmans, J.L.A., Vélez-Juarbe, J., Domning, D.P., Bauer, C.E., He, K., Crerar, L., Murphy, W.J., Meredith, R.W., Gatesy, J., Willerslev, E., MacPhee, R.D.E., Hofreiter, M., and K.L. Campbell. Interordinal gene capture, the phylogenetic position of Steller’s Sea Cow based on molecular and morphological data, and the macroevolutionary history of Sirenia. 2015 Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 91: 178-193.
2. Davis, B.W., Seabury, C.S., Brashear, W., Li, G., Roelke Parker, M., and W.J. Murphy. 2015. Mechanisms underlying mammalian hybrid sterility in two feline interspecies models. Molecular Biology and Evolution May 25. msv124. [Epub ahead of print].
3. Soh, Y.Q., Alföldi, J., Pyntikova, T., Brown, L.G., Graves, T., Minx, P.J., Fulton, R.S., Kremitzki, C., Koutseva, N., Mueller, J.L., Rozen, S., Hughes, J.F., Owens, E., Womack, J.E., Murphy, W.J., Cao Q., de Jong, P., Warren, W.C., Wilson, R.K., Skaletsky, H., and D.C. Page. 2014. Sequencing the mouse Y chromosome reveals convergent gene acquisition and amplification on both sex chromosomes. Cell 159: 800-813.
4. Montague, M., Li, G., Gandolfi, B., Khan, R., Aken, B.L., Searle, S.M.J., Minx, P., Hillier, L., Kolboldt, D.C., Davis, B.W., Driscoll, C.A., Barr, C., Blackistone, K., Quilez, J., Lorente-Galdos, B., Marques-Bonet, T., Alkan, C., Thomas G.W.C., Hahn, M.W., Menotti-Raymond, M., O’Brien, S.J., Wilson, R.K., Lyons, L.A., Murphy, W.J., and W. C. Warren. 2014. Comparative analysis of the domestic cat genome reveals genetic signatures underlying feline biology and domestication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 111: 17230-17235.
5. Gershony, L.C., Cortes, A., Penedo, M.C.T., Davis, B.W., Murphy, W.J., Helps, C.R., and L.A. Lyons. 2014. Who’s behind that mask and cape? The Asian Leopard Cat’s Agouti (ASIP) allele affects coat colour phenotype in the Bengal cat breed. Animal Genetics 45: 893-897.
6. Li, G., Davis, B.W., Raudsepp, T., Pearks Wilkerson, A.J., Mason, V.C., Ferguson-Smith, M.A., O’Brien, P., Waters, P., and W. J. Murphy.  2013. Comparative analysis of mammalian Y chromosomes illuminates ancestral structure and lineage-specific evolution. Genome Research 23: 1486-1495.
7. Meredith, R. W., Janečka, J.E., Gatesy, J., Ryder, O. A., Fisher, C.A., Teeling, E.C., Goodbla, A., Eizirik, E., Simão, T. L. L., Stadler, T., Rabosky, D. L., Honeycutt, R. L., Flynn, J. J., Ingram, C. M., Steiner, C., Williams, T. L., Robinson, T. J., Burk-Herrick, A., Westerman, M., Ayoub, N. A., Springer, M. S., and W. J. Murphy. 2011. Impacts of the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution and KPg Extinction on mammal diversification. Science 334: 521-525.
8. Mason, V.C., Li, G., Helgen, K. M., and W. J. Murphy. 2011. Efficient cross-species capture hybridization and next-generation DNA sequencing of mitochondrial genomes from non-invasively sampled museum specimens. Genome Research 21: 1695-1704.
9. Davis, B.W., Li, G., and W. J. Murphy. 2010. Supermatrix and supertree methods resolve phylogenetic relationships within the big cats, Panthera (Carnivore, Felidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 56: 64-76.
10. Hayden, S., Bekaert, M., Crider, T., Mariani, S., Murphy, W. J., and E.C. Teeling. 2010. Ecological adaptation determines functional mammalian olfactory subgenomes. Genome Research 20: 1-9.
11. Davis, B. W., Raudsepp, T., Pearks Wilkerson, A. J., Agarwala, R., Schäffer, A. A., Houck, M., Chowdhary, B. P., and W. J. Murphy. 2009. A high-resolution cat radiation hybrid and integrated FISH mapping resource for phylogenomic studies across Felidae. Genomics 93: 299-304.

12.  Janečka, J. E., Miller, W., Pringle, T. H., Wiens, F., Zitzmann, A., Helgen, K. M., Springer, M. S., and W. J. Murphy.  2007. Molecular and genomic data identify the closest living relative of primates. Science 318: 792-794.
13. Murphy, W. J., Pearks Wilkerson, A. J., Raudsepp, T., Agarwala, R., Schäffer, A. A., Stanyon, R., and B. P. Chowdhary. 2006. Novel gene acquisition on carnivore Y chromosomes. PLoS Genetics 2: e43.
14. Johnson, W. E., Eizirik, E., Pecon-Slattery, J., Murphy, W. J., Antunes, A., Teeling, E. C., and S. J. O’Brien. 2006. The late Miocene radiation of modern Felidae: a genetic assessment. Science 311: 73-77.
15. Murphy, W. J., Larkin, D., Everts van-der Wind, A., Bourque, G., Tesler, G., Auvil, L., Beever, J. E., Chowdhary, B. P., Galibert, F., Gatzke, L., Hitte, C., Meyers, S. N., Ostrander, E. A., Pape, G., Parker, H. G., Raudsepp, T., Rogatcheva, M. B., Schook, L. B., Skow, L. C., Welge, M., Womack, J. E., O'Brien, S. J., Pevzner, P. A., H. A. Lewin. 2005. Dynamics of mammalian chromosome evolution inferred from multispecies comparative maps. Science 309: 613-617.
16. Teeling, E. C., Springer, M. S., Madsen, O., Bates, P., O’Brien, S. J., and W. J. Murphy. 2005. A molecular phylogeny for bats illuminates biogeography and the fossil record. Science 307: 580-584.
17. Roca, A. L., Kahila Bar-Gal, G., Eizirik, E., Helgen, K.M., Maria, R., Springer, M.S., O’Brien, S. J., and W. J. Murphy. 2004. Mesozoic origin for West Indian insectivores. Nature 429: 649-651.
18. Springer, M. S., Murphy, W. J., Eizirik, E., and S. J. O’Brien. 2003. Placental mammal diversification and the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 100: 1056-1061.
19.  Murphy, W. J., Eizirik, E., O’Brien, S. J., Madsen, O., Scally, M., Douady, C., Teeling, E. C., Ryder, O. A., Stanhope, M., De Jong, W. W. and M. S. Springer.  2001. Resolution of the early placental mammal radiation using Bayesian phylogenetics. Science 294: 2348-2351.
20. O’Brien, S. J., Eizirik, E., and W. J. Murphy.  2001.  Genomics. On choosing mammalian genomes for sequencing.  Science 292: 2264-2266.
21. Murphy, W. J., Eizirik, E., Johnson, W. J., Zhang, Y. P., Ryder, O. A., and S. J. O’Brien.  2001.  Molecular phylogenetics and the origins of placental mammals. Nature 409: 614-618.
22. Murphy, W. J., Shan, S., Pecon-Slattery, J., Chen, Z. Q., and S. J. O'Brien.  1999.  Extensive conservation of sex chromosome organization between cat and human revealed by parallel radiation hybrid mapping.  Genome Research 9: 1223-1230.
23. O’Brien, S. J., Menotti-Raymond, M., Murphy, W. J., Nash, W. G., Wienberg, J., Stanyon, R., Copeland, N. G., Jenkins, N. A., Womack, J. E., and J. A. Marshall-Graves.  1999.  The promise of comparative genomics in mammals.  Science 286: 458-481.
24. Murphy, W.J. and G.E. Collier. 1997.  A molecular phylogeny for aplocheiloid killifishes (Atherinomorpha, Cyprinodontiformes):  the role of vicariance and the origins of annualism.  Molecular Biology and Evolution 14:  790-799.
25. Murphy, W. J. and G.E. Collier. 1996. Phylogenetic relationships within the aplocheiloid fish genus Rivulus (Cyprinodontiformes, Rivulidae):  implications for Caribbean and Central American biogeography. Molecular Biology and Evolution 13:  642-649.

Current Genetics Students:

Wesley Brashear

Victor Mason


Research Interests:

Bioinformatics and Genomics:

Mammalian evolutionary genetics



Conservation and Population Genetics:

Mammalian evolutionary genetics

Medical Genetics - Human and Animal:

Mammalian evolutionary genetics



BIMS 320/GENE 320 Biomedical Genetics