MCB Faculty

Ian Ehrenreich

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

Contact Information
Phone: (213) 821-5349
Office: RRI 319A

Personal Website


  • B.A. Human Biology, Stanford University, 2002
  • Ph.D. Genetics, North Carolina State University, 2008

  • Postdoctoral Training

    • NIH NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow, Princeton University, 2008-2011  

    Description of Research

    Summary Statement of Research Interests
    We study the genetic and molecular basis of phenotypic variation, primarily using the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as our model system. In particular, we are interested in the contribution of genetic interactions to complex traits, as well as in how the genotype-phenotype map changes across environments. Connected to this latter topic, we are beginning to study the the mechanisms that underlie phenotypic plasticity, with a long term goal of evaluating how genetic assimilation might occur in natural systems.
    Research Keywords
    quantitative genetics, genomics, genetics, population genomics, next generation sequencing, adaptation, ecological genomics, microbiology, microorganisms


    Journal Article
    • Taylor, M. B., Ehrenreich, I. M. (2014). Higher-order genetic interactions and their contribution to complex traits. Trends in Genetics.
    • Pfennig, D. W., Ehrenreich, I. M. (2014). Toward a gene regulatory network perspective on phenotypic plasticity, genetic accommodation, and genetic assimilation. Molecular Ecology.
    • Taylor, M. B., Ehrenreich, I. M. (2014). Genetic interactions involving five or more genes cause a complex trait. PLoS Genetics. Vol. 10 (5), pp. e1004324.
    • Bloom, J. S., Ehrenreich, I. M., Loo, W., Vo Lite, T., Kruglyak, L. (2013). Finding the sources of missing heritability in a yeast cross. Nature. Vol. 494 (7436), pp. 234-237.
    • Jang, H., Ehrenreich, I. M. (2012). Genome-Wide Characterization of Genetic Variation in the Unicellular, Green Alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. PLoS ONE. Vol. 7 (7), pp. e41307.
    • Banta, J. A., Ehrenreich, I. M., Gerard, S., Chou, L., Wilczek, A., Schmitt, J., Kover, P. X., Purugganan, M. D. (2012). Climate envelope modelling reveals intraspecific relationships among flowering phenology, niche breadth and potential range size in Arabidopsis thaliana. Ecology Letters. Vol. 15 (8), pp. 769-777.
    • Ehrenreich, I. M., Bloom, J., Torabi, N., Wang, X., Jia, Y., Kruglyak, L. (2012). Genetic Architecture of Highly Complex Chemical Resistance Traits across Four Yeast Strains. PLoS Genetics. Vol. 8 (3), pp. e1002570.
    • Ehrenreich, I. M., Torabi, N., Jia, Y., Kent, J., Martis, S., Shapiro, J. A., Gresham, D., Caudy, A. A., Kruglyak, L. (2010). Dissection of genetically complex traits with extremely large pools of yeast segregants. Nature. Vol. 464 (72912010/04/16), pp. 1039-42.
    • Caicedo, A. L., Richards, C., Ehrenreich, I. M., Purugganan, M. D. (2009). Complex rearrangements lead to novel chimeric gene fusion polymorphisms at the Arabidopsis thaliana MAF2-5 flowering time gene cluster. Mol Biol Evol. Vol. 26 (32009/01/14), pp. 699-711.
    • Ehrenreich, I. M., Gerke, J. P., Kruglyak, L. (2009). Genetic dissection of complex traits in yeast: insights from studies of gene expression and other phenotypes in the BYxRM cross. Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol. Vol. 74 (2009/09/08), pp. 145-53.
    • Ehrenreich, I. M., Hanzawa, Y., Chou, L., Roe, J. L., Kover, P. X., Purugganan, M. D. (2009). Candidate gene association mapping of Arabidopsis flowering time. Genetics. Vol. 183 (12009/07/08), pp. 325-35.
    • Kover, P. X., Valdar, W., Trakalo, J., Scarcelli, N., Ehrenreich, I. M., Purugganan, M. D., Durrant, C., Mott, R. (2009). A Multiparent Advanced Generation Inter-Cross to fine-map quantitative traits in Arabidopsis thaliana. PLoS Genet. Vol. 5 (72009/07/14), pp. e1000551.
    • Webb, E. A., Ehrenreich, I. M., Brown, S. L., Valois, F. W., Waterbury, J. B. (2009). Phenotypic and genotypic characterization of multiple strains of the diazotrophic cyanobacterium, Crocosphaera watsonii, isolated from the open ocean. Environ Microbiol. Vol. 11 (22009/02/07), pp. 338-48.
    • Ehrenreich, I. M., Purugganan, M. (2008). MicroRNAs in plants: Possible contributions to phenotypic diversity. Plant Signal Behav. Vol. 3 (102009/08/26), pp. 829-30.
    • Ehrenreich, I. M., Purugganan, M. D. (2008). Sequence variation of MicroRNAs and their binding sites in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiol. Vol. 146 (42008/02/29), pp. 1974-82.
    • Ehrenreich, I. M., Stafford, P. A., Purugganan, M. D. (2007). The genetic architecture of shoot branching in Arabidopsis thaliana: a comparative assessment of candidate gene associations vs. quantitative trait locus mapping. Genetics. Vol. 176 (22007/04/17), pp. 1223-36.
    • Ehrenreich, I. M., Purugganan, M. D. (2006). The molecular genetic basis of plant adaptation. American Journal of Botany. Vol. 93 (7), pp. 953-962.
    • Ehrenreich, I. M., Waterbury, J. B., Webb, E. A. (2005). Distribution and diversity of natural product genes in marine and freshwater cyanobacterial cultures and genomes. Appl Environ Microbiol. Vol. 71 (112005/11/05), pp. 7401-13.

  • Department of Biological Sciences
  • University of Southern California
  • Allan Hancock Foundation Building
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0371