Genetics and early British population history

Academic advisors: Professor Simon James, Professor Mark Jobling, Dr Turi King
Research Associate: Dr Jon Wetton

Published studies of the genetic diversity of the peoples of Britain have so far focused on uniparentally-inherited markers. The male-specific Y chromosome has been studied using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that are subject to the problem of ascertainment bias; typing of short-tandem repeats (STRs) alleviates this, though current sets of STRs have problems of their own with mutation rate heterogeneity, and mutational saturation over long time-depths. Maternally-inherited mitochondrial DNA studies have largely focused on sequence variation in HVSI. The recent explosion of technologies in genome-wide SNP analysis and massively parallel sequencing promises to change this, and will provide new tools to investigate the past. This project sought novel molecular markers for historical population analysis in regions of the British Isles.