Current and Recent Projects

Sex, genomes, history: molecular, evolutionary and cultural effects on human genetic diversity (Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship)

This project built upon progress made in the previous two Fellowship terms by addressing two major questions:
• How has residence on the sex chromosomes affected the long- and short-term evolution of genic and non-genic sequences in primates? 
• How do the molecular evolutionary forces acting on these sequences interact with general and sex-specific population processes, and how can knowledge of molecular and population-level influences illuminate the histories of human populations themselves? 
• To do this, we exploited the recent quantum leap in DNA sequencing and typing technology to provide a relatively unbiased and large-scale picture of diversity. We used sequence-capture and Illumina sequencing to generate high-coverage sex-chromosomal and autosomal data on ~440 human and ~20 great ape males.

So far, we have published a Y-chromosome phylogeny and our population study of European Y diversity; we have also published our Y and mtDNA data on great apes. A paper on whole mtDNA sequences in European populations will soon appear, and we are also working to analyse multi locus data at the population level in Europe and integrate this with extant ancient DNA data. Other Y-chromosomal data from our sequencing experiments are being analysed to understand the details of gene conversion processes in palindromic sequences.


The Impact of Diasporas on the making of Britain

NRG YHG Distribution
NRG YHG Distribution

This multidisciplinary collaboration drew on the world-class expertise of academics based in the University of Leicester in the Department of Genetics, the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, the School of Historical Studies and the School of English. We aimed to reappraise key questions and evidence concerning the population history of Britain and the roots of the identities of the historical nations of the island, focusing especially on the methodological interfaces between academic disciplines. Funding came from the Leverhulme Trust as a programme grant (PI: Prof Joanna Story, School of Historical Studies). We are currently working on papers that describe Y and mtDNA data from the People of the British Isles project (PI: Walter Bodmer, Oxford), and also on Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC) approaches to understanding Viking migrations. An ongoing project is examining the population of Normandy within the framework of Viking migration.

Genetic mechanisms of coronary artery disease in men – next-generation sequencing of male-specific region of the Y chromosome

This Britsh Heart Foundation Project Grant is led by Prof Maciej Tomaszewski of the University of Manchester, and aims to uncover the MSY variants responsible for the increased risk of Coronary Artery Disease among men who carry Y chromosomes belonging to haplogroup I, found in Europe.

Next-generation sequencing approaches to short-tandem repeat sequence variation

This BBSRC-funded CASE studentship uses next-generation sequencing (NGS) to study the internal structure of human short-tandem repeats. These markers are universally used in forensic analysis, but genotyping considers only allele length, and not allele sequence. The next few years promise to bring the power of NGS to bear on forensic identification, yet little is known about what new opportunities and problems sequence data will bring. The project is co-supervised by Jon Wetton, and is partnered by the company Key Forensic Services Ltd.

We also have a number of other forensically-focused projects that are exploiting the power of NGS and third-generation technologies to improve human individual identification, animal species ID, and DNA tagging technologies.

Research Links

Search PubMed at the US National Library of Medicine for this author: Prof M. Jobling
Search Leicester Research Archive: Prof M. Jobling
Search Google Scholar: Prof M. Jobling

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