The Roslin Institute
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.