Markus Friedrich


Faculty Profile



Department of Biological Sciences (Room 3117)

Wayne State University

5047 Gullen Mall

Detroit, MI 48202




My interest in insects became obvious at the age of 10, when I began rearing moth and butterfly caterpillars. This was the beginning of a career in comparative biology with a focus on insects, their eyes, their genes, and their genomes. I earned my Ph.D. degree from the Department of Zoology at the University of Munich in 1995 as a lucky member in the group of Diethard Tautz and joined WSU in 1999 after three years of very lucky postdoctoral training at the California Institute of Technology with Seymour Benzer and Kai Zinn.

Selected Publications

Coming into clear sight at last: Ancestral and derived events during chelicerate visual system development. BioEssays, in press:

Friedrich, M. (2021). Deep conservation of Hid-like RHG gene family homologs in winged insects revealed by “Taxon Hopping” BLAST. Insects, 12(11), 957.

Jasti, N., Sebagh, D., Riaz, M., Wang, X., Koripella, B., Palanisamy, V., Mohammad, N., Chen, Q., & Friedrich, M. (2020). Towards reconstructing the dipteran demise of an ancient essential gene: E3 ubiquitin ligase Murine double minute. Development Genes and Evolution, 230(4), 279–294.

Bao, R., & Friedrich, M. (2020). Genomic signatures of globally enhanced gene duplicate accumulation in the megadiverse higher Diptera fueling intralocus sexual conflict resolution. PeerJ, 8, e10012.

Wu, M., Bao, R., & Friedrich, M. (2020). Evolutionary conservation of opsin gene expression patterns in the compound eyes of darkling beetles. Development Genes and Evolution, 230(5-6), 339–345.

Leray Vincent L., Jason Caravas, Friedrich Markus and Zigler, Kirk S. (2019) Mitochondrial sequence data indicate “Vicariance by Erosion” as a mechanism of species diversification in North American Ptomaphagus (Coleoptera: Leiodidae: Cholevinae) cave beetles. Subterranean Biology 29: 35-57.

Bao Riyue, Sammy E. Dia, Hussein A. Issa, Dalia Alhusein, and Markus Friedrich (2018) Comparative evidence of an exceptional impact of gene duplication on the developmental evolution of Drosophila and the higher Diptera. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 6: 63.

Zhou, Q., Yu, L., Friedrich, M., & Pignoni, F. (2017) Distinct regulation of atonal in a visual organ of Drosophila: Organ-specific enhancer and lack of autoregulation in the larval eye. Developmental Biology, 421(1), 67–76.

Friedrich, M. (2017) Ancient genetic redundancy of eyeless and twin of eyeless in the arthropod ocular segment. Developmental Biology 432: 192-200.

Research Description

Developmental and molecular evolution of the insect visual system

Affiliated Departments