59. Mc Cartney, A. M., Formenti, G., Mouton, A., ... Backström, N., ..., Waterhouse, R., Ciofi, C., and Mazzoni, C. (167 co-authors). 2023. The European Reference Genome Atlas: piloting a decentralised approach to equitable biodiversity genomics. [PCI Genomics Submitted]

58. Näsvall, K., Boman, J., Höök, L., Vila, R., Wiklund, C., and Backström, N. 2023. Nascent evolution of recombination rate differences as a consequence of chromosomal rearrangements. PLOS Genetics 19: e1010717.
Link to open access article:
Link to preprint on BioRxiv:

57. Näsvall, K., Shipilina, D., Vila, R., Talavera, G., and Backström, N. 2023. Resource availability affects activity profiles of regulatory elements in a long-distance butterfly migrant. Molecular Ecology [In Revision]
Link to preprint in Authorea:

56. Näsvall, K., Boman, J., Talla, V., and Backström, N. 2023. Base composition, codon usage and patterns of gene sequence evolution in butterflies. Genome Biology and Evolution 15: evad150.
Link to open access article:

55. Wheatcroft, D., Backström, N., Dutoit, L., McFarlane, S. E., Mugal, C. F., Wang, M., Ålund, M., Ellegren, H., and Qvarnström, A. 2023. Divergence in gene expression in the brains of two closely related songbird species and their hybrids is limited to a few genes involved in neuro-plasticity. [G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics, Submitted]

54. Boman, J., Zhu, Y., Höök, L., Vila, R., Talavera, G., and Backström, N. 2023. Environmental stress during larval development induces head methylome profile shifts in the migratory painted lady (Vanessa cardui) butterfly. Molecular Ecology 32: 3513-3523.
Open access version:
BioRxiv link:

53. Palahí i Torres, A., Höök, L., Näsvall, K., Shipilina, D., Wiklund, C., Vila, R., Pruisscher, P., and Backström, N. 2023. The fine-scale recombination rate variation and associations with genomic features in a butterfly. Genome Research 33: 810-823.
Open access pdf:
BioRxiv link:

52. Höök, L.*, Näsvall, K.*, Wiklund, C., Vila, R., and Backström, N. 2023. High-density linkage maps and chromosome level genome assemblies unveil direction and frequency of extensive structural rearrangements in wood white butterflies (Leptidea sp.). Chromosome Research 31: 2.
* = Equal author contributions.
Open access version:
BioRxiv link:

51. Talla, V., Mrazek, V., Höglund, J., and Backström, N. 2023. Whole genome re-sequencing uncovers significant population structure and low genetic diversity in the endangered clouded apollo (Parnasssius mnemosyne) in Sweden. Conservation Genetics 24: 305–314.
Link to paper:

50. Shipilina, D.*, Näsvall, K.*, Höök, L., Vila, R., Talavera, G., and Backström, N. 2022. Linkage mapping and genome annotation give novel insights into gene family expansions and regional recombination rate variation in the painted lady (Vanessa cardui) butterfly. Genomics 114: 110481.
* = Equal author contributions.
Biorxiv link:

49. Garcia-Berro, A., Talla, V., Vila, R., Kar, W. H., Chan, K.-G., Pierce, N. E., Backström, N., and Talavera, G. 2023. Migratory behavior is positively associated with genetic diversity in butterflies. Molecular Ecology 32: 560-574.
BioRxiv link:

48. Lohse, K., Höök, L., Näsvall, N., Backström, N., Darwin Tree of Life. 2022. The genome sequence of the wood white butterfly, Leptidea sinapis [Linnaeus 1758]. Welcome Open Research 7: 254 (

47. Höglund, J., och Backström, N. 2022. DNA-analys visar låg genetisk diversitet och betydande populationsstruktur hos mnemosynefjäril (Parnassius mnemosyne) i Sverige. Svensk Dagfjärilsövervakning. Annual Report 2021.
Link to report:

46. Mrazek, V., Talla, V., Höglund, J., och Backström, N. 2022. En populationsgenomisk undersökning av mnemosynefjäril (Parnassius mnemosyne) i Sverige. Länsstyrelsen Blekinge. Rapport # 2022.


45. Boman, J., Mugal, C., and Backström, N. 2021. The effects of GC-biased gene conversion on patterns of genetic diversity among and across butterfly genomes. Genome Biology and Evolution 13: evab064.
BioRxiv link to preprint:

44. Näsvall, K., Wiklund, C., Mrazek, V., Künstner, A., Talla, V., Busch, H., Vila, R., and Backström, N. 2021. Host plant diet affects growth and induces altered gene expression and microbiome composition in the wood white (Leptidea sinapis) butterfly. Molecular Ecology 30: 499-516.

43. Mugal, C. F., Wang, M., Backström, N., Wheatcroft, D., Ålund, M., Sémon, M., McFarlane, E. S., Dutoit, L., Qvarnström, A. and Ellegren, H. 2020. Tissue-specific patterns of regulatory changes underlying gene expression differences among Ficedula flycatchers and their naturally-occurring F1 hybrids. Genome Research 30: 1727-1739.

42. Talla, V., Soler, L., Kawakami, T., Dincă, V., Vila, R., Friberg, M., Wiklund, C., and Backström, N. 2019. Dissecting the effects of selection and mutation on genetic diversity in three wood white (Leptidea sp.) species. Genome Biology and Evolution 11: 2875–2886.

41. Höök, L., Leal, L., Talla, V., and Backström, N. 2019. Multilayered tuning of dosage compensation and Z-chromosome masculinization in the wood white (Leptidea sinapis) butterfly. Genome Biology and Evolution 11: 2633-2652.

40. Talla, V., Johansson, A., Dincă, V., Vila, R., Friberg, M., Wiklund, C., and Backström, N. 2019. Lack of gene flow: narrow and dispersed differentiation islands in a triplet of Leptidea species. Molecular Ecology 28: 3756-3770.
See an interview with authors in the molecular ecology blog:


39. Leal, L., Talla, V., Källman, T., Friberg, M., Wiklund, C., Dincă, V., Vila, R., and Backström, N. 2018. Gene expression profiling across ontogenetic stages in wood white (Leptidea sinapis) reveals pathways linked to butterfly diapause regulation. Molecular Ecology 27: 935-948.

38. Talla, V., Kalsoom, F., Shipilina, D., Marova, I., and Backström, N. 2017. Heterogeneous patterns of genetic diversity and differentiation in European and Siberian chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita abietinus / P. tristis). G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics 7: 3983-3998. Cover of Journal Issue December 2017:

37. Talla, V., Suh, A., Kalsoom, F., Dincă, V., Vila, R., Friberg, M., Wiklund, C., and Backström, N. 2017. Rapid increase in genome size as a consequence of transposable element hyperactivity in wood-white (Leptidea) butterflies. Genome Biology and Evolution 9: 2491-2505.

36. Shipilina, D., Serbyn, M., Ivanitskii, V., Marova, I. M., and Backström, N. 2017. Patterns of genetic, phenotypic and acoustic variation across a chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita abietinus/tristis) hybrid zone. Ecology & Evolution 7: 2169–2180.

35. Knief, U., Schielzeth, H., Backström, N., Hemmrich-Stanisak, G., Wittig, M., Franke, A., Griffith, S., Ellegren, H., Kempenaers, B., and Forstmeier, W. 2017. Association mapping of morphological traits in wild and captive zebra finches: reliable within but not between populations. Molecular Ecology 26: 1285–1305.

34. Uebbing, S., Künstner, A., Mäkinen, H., Backström, N., Bolivar, P., Burri, R., Dutoit, L., Mugal, C. F., Nater, A., Aken, B., Flicek, P., Martin, F. J., Searle, S. M. J., and Ellegren, H. 2016. Divergence in gene expression within and between two closely related flycatcher species. Molecular Ecology 25: 2015-2028.

33. Dincă, V., Backström, N., Dapporto, L., Friberg, M., Garcia-Barros, E., Hebert, P. D. N., Hernandez-Roldan, J. Hornett, E., Lukhtanov, V., Marec, F., Montagud, S., Munguira, M. L., Olofsson, M., Sichova, J., Talavera, G., Vicente-Arranz, J. C., Vila, R., and Wiklund, C. 2015. DNA barcodes highlight unique research models in European butterflies. Genome: 58: e163.32.


32. Uebbing, S., Konzer, A., Xu, L., Backström, N., Brunström, B., Bergqvist, J., and Ellegren, H. 2015. Quantitative mass spectrometry reveals partial translational regulation for dosage compensation in chicken. Molecular Biology and Evolution 32: 2716-2725.

31. Romanov, M. N., Farre, M., Lithgow, P. E., Fowler, K. E., Skinner, B. M., O'Connor, R., Fonseka, G., Backström, N., Matsuda, Y., Nishida, C., Houde, P., Jarvis, E. D., Ellegren, H., Burt, D. W., Larkin, D. M., and Griffin, D. K. 2014. Reconstruction of gross avian genome structure, organization and evolution suggests that the chicken lineage most closely resembles the dinosaur avian ancestor. BMC Genomics 15: e1060

30. Zhang, Q., Hill, G. E., Edwards, S. V., and Backström, N. 2014. A house finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) spleen transcriptome reveals intra- and interspecific patterns of gene expression, alternative splicing and genetic diversity in passerines. BMC Genomics 15: 305.

29. Backström, N. 2014. Adaptive evolution in passerine birds. Encyclopedia of Life Sciences July-2014.

28. Kawakami, T., Smeds, L., Backström, N., Husby, A., Qvarnström, A., Mugal, C., Olason, P. I., and Ellegren, H. 2014. A high-density linkage map enables a second-generation collared flycatcher genome assembly and reveals the patterns of avian recombination rate variation and chromosomal evolution. Molecular Ecology 23: 4035-4058.

27. Kawakami, T., Backström, N., Burri, R., Husby, A., Olason, P., Rice, A., Ålund, M., Qvarnström, A., and Ellegren, H. 2014. Estimation of linkage disequilibrium and interspecific gene flow in Ficedula flycatchers by a newly developed 50k SNP array. Molecular Ecology Resources 14: 1248-1260.

26. Zhang, Q., and Backström, N. 2014. Assembly errors cause false tandem duplicate regions in the chicken (Gallus gallus) genome sequence. Chromosoma 123: 165-168.

25. Zhang, L.,An, B., Backström, N., Ruan, L., Liu, N. 2014. Phylogeography based delimitation of subspecies boundaries in the common pheasant (Phasianus colchicus). Biochemical Genetics 52: 38-51.

Backström Group - publications

24. Brandariz-Fontes, C., Leonard, J. A., Vega-Pla, J. L., Backström, N., Lindgren, G., Lippold, S., and Rico, C. 2013. Y-chromosome analysis in Retuertas horses. PloSONE 8: e64985.

23. Backström, N., Zhang, Q., and Edwards, S. V. 2013. Evidence from a house finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) spleen transcriptome for adaptive evolution and biased gene conversion in passerine birds. Molecular Biology and Evolution 30: 1046-1050.

22. Backström, N., Shipilina, D., Blom, M., and Edwards, S. V. 2013. Cis-regulatory sequence variation and association with Mycoplasma load in natural populations of the house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus). Ecology & Evolution 3: 655-666.

21. Backström, N., Sætre, G.-P., and Ellegren, H. 2013. Inferring the demographic history of European Ficedula flycatcher populations. BMC Evolutionary Biology 13: 2.

20. Ellegren, H., Smeds, L., Burri, R., Olason, P. I., Backström, N., Kawakami, T.,  Künstner, A., Mäkinen, H., Nadachowska-Brzyska, K., Qvarnström, A., Uebbing, S., and Wolf, J. B. W. 2012. The genomic architecture of species divergence in Ficedula flycatchers. Nature 491: 756–760

19. Campbell-Staton, S., Goodman, R., Backström, N., Edwards, S. V., Losos, J., and Kolbe, J. 2012. Out of Florida: mtDNA reveals Pleistocene migration and post-glacial range expansion of the green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis). Ecology & Evolution ece3.324.

18. Backström, N., and Väli, U. 2011. Sex- and species biased gene flow in a spotted eagle hybrid zone. BMC Evolutionary Biology 11: 100.

17. Ruan, L., An, B., Backström, N., Luo, H., Wen, L., Zhang, L., and Liu, N. 2010. Phylogeographic structure and gene flow of the Himalayan snowcock (Tetraogallus himalayensis). Animal Biology 60: 449-465.

Backström Group - publications

16. Backström, N., Lindell, J., Palkopoulou, E., Zhang, Y., Qvarnström, A., Sætre, G.-P., and Ellegren, H. 2010. A high-density scan of the Z-chromosome in Ficedula flycatchers reveals candidate loci for diversifying selection and speciation. Evolution 64: 3461-3475.

15. Backström, N., Palkopoulou, E., Qvarnström, A., and Ellegren, H. 2010. No evidence for Z-chromosome rearrangements between the pied flycatcher and the collared flycatcher as judged by gene-based comparative genetic maps. Molecular Ecology 19: 3394-3405.

14. Völker, M., Backström, N., Skinner, B. M., Langley, E. J., Bunzey, S. K., Ellegren, H., and Griffin, D. K. 2010. Copy number variation, chromosome rearrangement and recombination during avian evolution. Genome Research 20: 503-511.

13. Nam, K., Mugal, C., Nabholz, B., Schielzeth, H., Wolf, J. B. W., Backström, N., Künstner, A., Balakrishan, C. N., Heger, A., Ponting, C., Clayton, D. F., and Ellegren, H. 2010. Molecular evolution of genes in avian genomes. Genome Biology 11: R68.

12. Wolf, J. B. W., Lindell, J., and Backström, N., 2010. Speciation genetics: current status and evolving approaches (Review). Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 365: 1717-1733.

11. Backström, N., Forstmeier, W., Schielzeth, H., Mellenius, H., Nam, K., Bolund, E., Webster, M. T., Öst, T., Schneider, M., Kempenaers, B., and Ellegren, H. 2010. The recombination landscape of the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata genome. Genome Research 20: 485-495.

10. International Zebra Finch Genome Sequencing Consortium. 2010. The genome of a songbird. Nature 464: 757-762.

09. Künstner, A., Wolf, J. B. W., Backström, N., Whitney, O.,Balakrishnan, C. N., Day, L., Edwards, S. V., Janes, D. E., Schlinger, B. A., Wilson, R. K., Jarvis, E., Warren, W. E., and Ellegren, H. 2009. Comparative genomics based on massive parallel transcriptome sequencing reveals patterns of substitution and selection across 10 bird species. Molecular Ecology 19: 266-276.

Backström Group - publications

08. Backström, N., Karaiskou, N., Leder, E. H., Gustafsson, L., Primmer, C., Qvarnström, A., and Ellegren, H. 2008. A gene-based genetic linkage map of the collared flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis) reveals extensive synteny and gene order conservation during 100 million years of avian evolution. Genetics 179: 1479-1495.

07. Backström, N., Fagerberg, S., and Ellegren, H. 2007. Genomics of natural bird populations: a gene-based set of reference markers evenly spread across the avian genome. Molecular Ecology 17: 964-980.

06. Backström, N., Brandström, M., Gustafsson, L., Qvarnström, A., Cheng, H., and Ellegren, H. 2006. Genetic mapping in a natural population of collared flycatchers (Ficedula albicollis): conserved synteny but gene order rearrangements on the avian Z chromosome. Genetics 174: 377-386.

05. Backström, N., Gustafsson, L., Qvarnström, A., and Ellegren, H. 2006. Levels of linkage disequilibrium (LD) in a wild bird population. Biology Letters 2: 435-438.

04. Berlin, S., Brandström, M., Backström, N., Axelsson, E., Smith, N.G.C., and Ellegren, H. 2006. Substitution rate heterogeneity and the male mutation bias. Journal of Molecular Evolution 62: 226-233.

03. Backström, N., Ceplitis, H., Berlin, S., & Ellegren, H. 2005. Gene conversion drives the evolution of HINTW, an ampliconic gene on the female-specific avian W chromosome. Molecular Biology and Evolution 22: 1992-1999.

02. International Chicken Genome Sequencing Consortium. 2004. Sequencing and comparative analysis of the chicken genome. Nature 432: 695-716.

01. Lindgren, G., Backström, N., Swinburne, J., Hellborg, L., Einarsson, A., Sandberg, K., Vilà, C., Binns, M. & Ellegren, H. 2004. Limited number of patrilines in horse domestication. Nature Genetics 36: 335-336.

Backström Group - publications

Last modified: 2023-11-27