Professor Dave Burt

The Roslin Institute

Research Interests

Our current research is focused on comparative genomics and applications in poultry and other livestock species. Current projects include:

Annotation of genes and regulatory regions in the chicken and other avian genomes. We are using a range of short and long range sequencing technologies to characterise the entire transcriptome of the chicken, including defining the start and stop sites of transcription, all the alternate transcripts, and classifying coding and non-coding RNAs. To characterise regulatory regions we are using a range of genomic assays, such as CAGE, ChIP-seq, ATAC-seq, etc., to define the repertoire of regulatory elements, such as promoters, enhancers, silencers, etc. in the chicken and other avian genomes.

Evolution of avian genomes: defining the genomic regions under evolutionary constraint, and correlation of genome differences with phenotypic differences between species.

Transcriptional and epigenetic circuits involved in seasonal control of gene expression and physiology. We have defined specialised cells in the sheep “Calendar Cells” that change state on an annual clock from short to long day cells, we are also interested in the evolution of such a clock in mammals, birds and fish in a Human Frontiers Science Programme with labs in UK, Norway and Japan.

Host susceptibility towards avian viral infections. We are interested in how an avian host responds to a number of avian viruses, such as Marek’s Disease Virus and Avian Influenza, in both sensitive and resistant species and genetic lines.

Development of new tools for genome selection in poultry populations. This includes the use of genome sequencing and a range of bioinformatics tools to define and annotate genetic variants in the chicken and other genomes to predict the consequences of these variants at the molecular, cellular and whole animal. This information is in turn used to create new tools to increase our ability to predict phenotype form genotype. 

Selected Publications

  • Yinhua Huang, Dave Burt, Jacqueline Smith, Pete Kaiser and 46 others. 2013. The duck genome and transcriptome provide insight into an avian influenza virus reservoir species. Nature Genetics Vol: 45 Pages: 776-U797. More»
  • A West, Sm Dupre, L Yu, Bob Paton, K Miedzinska, As McNeilly, Jre Davis, Dw Burt, Asi Loudon. 2013. Npas4 is activated by melatonin, and drives the clock gene Cry1 in the ovine pars tuberalis. Molecular Endocrinology Vol: 27 Pages: 979-989. More»
  • Megan G Davey, I Robert Paton, Yili Yin, Maike Schmidt, Fiona K Bangs, David R Morrice, Terence Gordon Smith, Paul Buxton, Despina Stamataki, Mikiko Tanaka, Andrea E Münsterberg, James Briscoe, Cheryll Tickle, Dave W Burt. 2006. The chicken talpid3 gene encodes a novel protein essential for Hedgehog signaling. Genes & Development Vol: 20 Pages: 1365-77. More»
  • Andreas Kranis, Almas A Gheyas, Clarissa Boschiero, Frances Turner, Le Yu, Sarah Smith, Richard Talbot, Ali Pirani, Fiona Brew, Pete Kaiser, Paul M Hocking, Mark Fife, Nigel Salmon, Janet Fulton, Tim M Strom, Georg Haberer, Steffen Weigend, Rudolf Preisinger, Mahmood Gholami, Saber Qanbari, Henner Simianer, Kellie A Watson, John A Woolliams, David W Burt. 2013. Development of a high density 600K SNP genotyping array for chicken. BMC Genomics Vol: 14. More»
  • S.M. Dupre, K. Miedzinska, C.V. Duval, L. Yu, R.L. Goodman, G.A. Lincoln, J.R.E. Davis, A.S. McNeilly, D.W. Burt, A.S.I. Louden. 2010. Identification of Eya3 and TAC1 as long-day signals in the sheep pituitary. Current Biology Vol: 20 Pages: 829-835. More»