|DEPARTMENT OF GENETICS - Prof Mark A. Jobling
What's in a name? Applying patrilineal surnames to forensics, population history and genetic epidemiology
This Wellcome Trust funded project commenced in December 2007, following on from an earlier Prize Studentship, 'Surnames and genetic structure: a molecular analysis using Y-chromosomal DNA polymorphisms'. The project supports Dr Turi King as a post-doc.
In this project we plan to exploit the power of the link we have previously shown between surnames and Y-chromosomal DNA (both of which are
passed from father to son):
- We will investigate the power and pitfalls of applying databases of surnames and
associated Y-chromosomal DNA profiles to the forensic prediction of possible surnames
from crime-scene DNA samples where there are no suspects. Our goal is the demonstration
of confidence of surname prediction (or otherwise) in samples relevant to police forces.
- We will use historical lists of surnames present in a particular place in medieval times to
recruit modern donor samples that mimic past populations. We will analyse Y
chromosomes because these are linked with surnames, and estimate proportions of
Norwegian ancestry in 'modern' and 'medieval' (surname-ascertained) samples in
Cumbria and North Yorkshire, where place-names and dialects indicate possible past
Norse Viking presence.
- We will also use surnames to find groups of men who share common paternal ancestors,
and then assess the increased efficiency of searching for shared segments in other parts
of the genome in these groups. Our goal here is the demonstration that the amount of shared DNA
fits predictions from family trees, and that Y chromosome type can predict general
genetic relatedness. This could then be applied to searches for genes involved in
Recruitment of men for Viking descent study is now CLOSED!
We have recently (February 2009) been recruiting male volunteers who have a paternal grandfather born in Cumbria, Northumberland, Durham, North Yorkshire, Lancashire or Cheshire for our study of Viking descent in Britain. The response has been very good, and we now have enough volunteers, so recruitment is now CLOSED. Please note that results will be returned to volunteers at the end of the project in 2010.
Download a pdf of a poster describing our Viking ancestry study in Wirral and West Lancs (Bowden et al., 2008).
Foster, E.A. et al. (1998) Nature 396, 27-28. Jefferson fathered slave's last child.
Jobling, M.A. (2001) Trends Genet. 17, 353-357. In the name of the father: surnames and genetics. Download this review article.
King, T.E. et al. (2006) Curr. Biol. 16, 384-388. Genetic signatures of coancestry within surnames. You can download the final pre-publication version of the article here, and obtain the published pdf from the Current Biology website.
King, T.E. et al. (2007) Eur. J. Hum. Genet. 15, 288-293. Africans in Yorkshire? - the deepest-rooting clade of the Y phylogeny within an English genealogy. Article available as Open Access from journal website.
King, T.E. et al. (2007) Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 132, 584-589. Thomas Jefferson's Y chromosome belongs to a rare European lineage.
Bowden, G.R. et al. (2008) Mol. Biol. Evol. 25, 301-309. Excavating past population structures by surname-based sampling: the genetic legacy of the Vikings in northwest England. Article available as Open Access.
King, T.E. and Jobling, M.A. (2009) Mol. Biol. Evol. 26, 1093-1102. Founders, drift and infidelity: the relationship between Y chromosome diversity and patrilineal surnames. Article available as Open Access.
This project is funded by the Wellcome Trust.
Last updated: 14th April, 2009
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