Dr Matthew Hegarty PhD, PGCTHE

Dr Matthew Hegarty

Senior Lecturer

Contact Details



My research is focused on understanding how changes in the genome or transcriptome of an individual affects its phenotype, and also how genetic diversity affects populations. This research is based in a broad range of biological systems but always with a key theme of identifying genes underpinning physical traits. This is of particular relevance to the plant breeding and animal research programmes at IBERS, where my research brings a genomics aspect to these systems. I have a particular interest in the genetics of hybridisation and polyploidy, as many of the world's major crops are either polyploids or utilise hybrid vigour in their breeding.In addition to my own research interests, which heavily utilise the technology, I also oversee the IBERS Translational Genomics Facility, which supplies access to next-generation DNA sequencing and high-throughput genotyping for projects across IBERS and with collaborative partners.



Thorogood, D., Yates, S., Manzanares, C., Skot, L., Hegarty, M., Blackmore, T., Barth, S., Studer, B. 2017. A novel multivariate approach to phenotyping and association mapping of multi-locus gametophytic self-incompatibility reveals S, Z and other loci in a perennial ryegrass (Poaceae) population: Identifying Multi-Locus Gametophytic Self-Incompatibility Genes. Frontiers in Plant Science 8 1331 10.3389/fpls.2017.01331

Cameron, S., Lewis, K.E., Huws, S., Hegarty, M., Lewis, P.D., Pachebat, J.A., Mur, L. 2017. A pilot study using metagenomic sequencing of the sputum microbiome suggests potential bacterial biomarkers for lung cancer. PLoS One 0177062 10.1371/journal.pone.0177062 Cadair

Atkinson, K.V., Bishop, L.A., Rhodes, G., Salez, N., McEwan, N., Hegarty, M., Robey, J., Harding, N., Wetherell, S., Lauder, R.M., Pickup, R.W., Wilkinson, M., Gatherer, D. 2017. Genome Sequence of Human Papillomavirus 23 Strain HPV-23/Lancaster/2015. Genome Announcements 5 (20) e00257-17 10.1128/genomeA.00257-17 Cadair

Atkinson, K.V., Bishop, L.A., Rhodes, G., Salez, N., McEwan, N., Hegarty, M., Robey, J., Harding, N., Wetherell, S., Lauder, R.M., Pickup, R.W., Wilkinson, M., Gatherer, D. 2017. Genome Sequence of Human Rhinovirus A22, Strain Lancaster/2015. Genome Announcements 5 (12) 10.1128/genomeA.01713-16 Cadair

Bisaga, M., Lowe, M., Hegarty, M., Abberton, M., Ravagnani, A. 2017. Deep sequencing of Suppression Subtractive Hybridisation drought and recovery libraries of the non-model crop Trifolium repens L. Frontiers in Plant Science 8 213 10.3389/fpls.2017.00213 Cadair

De Vere, N., Jones, L.E., Gilmore, T., Moscrop, J., Lowe, A., Smith, D., Hegarty, M., Creer, S., Ford, C.R. 2017. Using DNA metabarcoding to investigate honey bee foraging reveals limited flower use despite high floral availability. Scientific Reports 7 42838 10.1038/srep42838 Cadair


Mayorga, O., Kingston-Smith, A., Kim, E.J., Allison, G., Wilkinson, T., Hegarty, M., Newbold, C., Theodorou, M., Huws, S. 2016. Temporal metagenomic and metabolomic chracterization of fresh perennial ryegrass degradation by rumen bacteria. Frontiers in Microbiology 7 1854 10.3389/fmicb.2016.01854 Cadair

Mora-Ortiz, M., Swain, M., Vickers, M., Hegarty, M., Kelly, R., Smith, L., Skot, L. 2016. De-novo transcriptome assembly for gene identification, analysis, annotation, and molecular marker discovery in Onobrychis viciifolia. BMC Genomics 17 756 10.1186/s12864-016-3083-6 Cadair

Skujina, I., McMahon, R., Lenis, V.P., Gkoutos, G., Hegarty, M. 2016. Duplication of the mitochondrial control region is associated with increased longevity in birds. Aging 8 (8) pp. 1781-1789. 10.18632/aging.101012 Cadair

Blackmore, T., Thorogood, D., Skot, L., McMahon, R., Powell, W., Hegarty, M. 2016. Germplasm dynamics: the role of ecotypic diversity in shaping the patterns of genetic variation in Lolium perenne. Scientific Reports 6 22603 10.1038/srep22603 Cadair

Grinberg, N., Lovatt, A., Hegarty, M., Macfarlane, A.C., Skot, K., Kelly, R., Blackmore, T., Thorogood, D., King, R.D., Armstead, I., Powell, W., Skot, L. 2016. Implementation of genomic prediction in Lolium perenne (L.) breeding populations. Frontiers in Plant Science 7 133 10.3389/fpls.2016.00133 Cadair

Cameron, S., E. Lewis, K., Huws, S., Lin, W., Hegarty, M., D. Lewis, P., Mur, L., Pachebat, J.A. 2016. Metagenomic Sequencing of the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Upper Bronchial Tract Microbiome Reveals Functional Changes Associated with Disease Severity. PLoS One 11 (2) 0149095 10.1371/journal.pone.0149095 Cadair

Kam, J., Hegarty, M., Manwaring, H.R., Yadav, R., Yadav, R. 2016. Developing low GI pearl millet and its potential in combating diabetes. Plant and Animal Genome Conference XXIV. Other Cadair


de Vega, J., Ayling, S., Hegarty, M.J., Kudrna, D., Goicoechea, J.L., Ergon, Å., Rognli, O., Jones, C., Swain, M.T., Geurts, R., Lang, C., Mayer, K.F.X., Rössner, S., Yates, S.A., Webb, K.J., Donnison, I.S., Oldroyd, G.E.D., Wing, R., Caccamo, M., Powell, W., Abberton, M.T., Skot, L. 2015. Red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) draft genome provides a platform for trait improvement. Scientific Reports 5 17394 10.1038/srep17394

Ellison, A.R., Rodrigues Lopez, C.M., Morán, P., Breen, J., Swain, M., Megias, M., Hegarty, M., Wilkinson, M.J., Pawluk, R., Consuegra Del Olmo, S. 2015. Epigenetic regulation of sex ratios may explain natural variation in self-fertilization rates. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 282 (1819) pp. 1900. 10.1098/rspb.2015.1900 Cadair

Blackmore, T., Thomas, I., McMahon, R., Powell, W., Hegarty, M. 2015. Genetic-geographic correlation revealed across a broad European ecotypic sample of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) using array-based SNP genotyping. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 128 (10) pp. 1917-1932. 10.1007/s00122-015-2556-3 Cadair

McMahon, R., Debbonaire, A., Hegarty, M. 2015. Genetic Analysis of Pedigree Welsh Pigs and British Landrace Pigs in relation to discriminating between pork products from these two breeds. Prifysgol Aberystwyth | Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth Cadair

Cameron, S.J.S., Huws, S., Hegarty, M.J., Smith, D.P.M., Mur, L.A.J. 2015. The human salivary microbiome exhibits temporal stability in bacterial diversity. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 91 (9) fiv091 10.1093/femsec/fiv091 Cadair

Hadfield, S.J., Pachebat, J.A., Swain, M.T., Robinson, G., Cameron, S.J.S., Alexander, J., Hegarty, M.J., Elwin, K., Chalmers, R.M. 2015. Generation of whole genome sequences of new Cryptosporidium hominis and Cryptosporidium parvum isolates directly from stool samples. BMC Genomics 16 650 10.1186/s12864-015-1805-9 Cadair

Hawkins, J., de Vere, N., Griffith, A., Ford, C.R., Allainguillaume, J., Hegarty, M.J., Baillie, L., Adams-Groom, B. 2015. Using DNA Metabarcoding to Identify the Floral Composition of Honey. A New Tool for Investigating Honey Bee Foraging Preferences. PLoS One 10 (8) pp. e0134735. 10.1371/journal.pone.0134735 Cadair

Winton, C.L., Plant, Y., Hind, P., McMahon, R., Hegarty, M., McEwan, N., Davies-Morel, M., Powell, W., Nash, D. 2015. Comparative genetic diversity in a sample of pony breeds from the UK and North America: A case study in the conservation of global genetic resources. Ecology and Evolution 5 (16) pp. 3507-3522. 10.1002/ece3.1562 Cadair

Facey, P.D., Méric, G., Hitchings, M.D., Pachebat, J.A., Hegarty, M.J., Chen, X., Morgan, L.V.A., Hoeppner, J.E., Whitten, M.M.A., Kirk, W.D.J., Dyson, P.J., Sheppard, S.K., Del Sol, R. 2015. Draft Genomes, Phylogenetic Reconstruction, and Comparative Genomics of Two Novel Cohabiting Bacterial Symbionts Isolated from Frankliniella occidentalis. Genome Biology and Evolution 7 (8) pp. 2188-2202. 10.1093/gbe/evv136 Cadair

Gonen, S., Hegarty, M., Yadav, R., Manwaring, H.R., Yadav, R. 2015. Developing low GI pearl millet and its potential in combatting diabetes. UK PlantSci. Cadair

Huson, K.M., Haresign, W., Hegarty, M., Blackmore, T., Potter, C., McEwan, N. 2015. Assessment of Genetic Relationship between Six Populations of Welsh Mountain Sheep using Microsatellite Markers. Czech Journal of Animal Science 60 (5) pp. 216-223. 10.17221/8171-CJAS Cadair

Giorgi, D., Farina, A., Langdon, T., Hegarty, M., Bisaga, M.R., Lucretti, S. 2015. Progress in Oat FISHIS and Chromosome Specific Sequencing. Plant and Animal Genome XXIII. Cadair

Jones, C., Lloyd, D., Hegarty, M., de Vega, J., Ayling, S., Skot, L. 2015. Comparitive population genomics of red clover domestication and improvement. Proceedings of the 12th British Grassland Society Research Conference. BGS 12th Research Conference. British Grassland Society pp. 59-60. Cadair


Mully, J.F., Hargreaves, A., Hegarty, M., Heller, R.S., Swain, M. 2014. Transcriptomic analysis of the lesser spotted catshark (Scyliorhinus canicula) pancreas, liver and brain reveals molecular level conservation of vertebrate pancreas function. BMC Genomics 15 1074 10.1186/1471-2164-15-1074 Cadair

Dudek, M., Adams, J., Swain, M., Hegarty, M., Huws, S., Gallagher, J. 2014. Metaphylogenomic and Potential Functionality of the Limpet Patella pellucida’s Gastrointestinal Tract Microbiome. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 15 (10) pp. 18819-18839. 10.3390/ijms151018819 Cadair

Thorogood, D., Blackmore, T.M., Mathews, R., Allen, D., MacDuff, J.H., Hegarty, M.J. 2014. A genetic association between leaf elongation rate and flowering time in perennial ryegrass. In D. Sokolović., C. Huyghe., J. Radović. (eds) Quantitative Traits Breeding for Multifunctional Grasslands and Turf. Springer Nature pp. 267-271. Cadair

Hargreaves, A., Swain, M.T., Hegarty, M.J., Darren, L., John, M. 2014. Restriction and recruitment-gene duplication and the origin and evolution of snake venom toxins. Genome Biology and Evolution 6 (8) pp. 2088-2095. 10.1093/gbe/evu166 Other Cadair

Yates, S.A., Swain, M.T., Hegarty, M.J., Chernukin, I., Lowe, M.J., Allison, G.G., Ruttlink, T., Abberton, M.T., Jenkins, G., Skøt, L. 2014. De novo assembly of red clover transcriptome based on RNA-Seq data provides insight into drought response, gene discovery and marker identification. BMC Genomics 15 pp. 453. 10.1186/1471-2164-15-453 Cadair

Thorogood, D., Manzanares, C., Hegarty, M.J., Asp, T., Barth, S., Studer, B. 2014. The Genetic Control of Self-Incompatibility in Grasses Revisited – Are There Really Just Two Loci? Plant & Animal Genome XXII Conference. Other Other Cadair


McMahon, R., Hegarty, M.J. 2013. Red Kite Genetics – The Research. Cadair

Domoney, C., Knox, M., Moreau, C., Ambrose, M., Palmer, S., Smith, P., Christodoulou, V., Isaac, P., Hegarty, M.J., Blackmore, T.M., Swain, M.T., Ellis, N. 2013. Exploiting a fast neutron mutant genetic resource in Pisum sativum L. (pea) for functional genomics. Functional Plant Biology 40 (12) pp. 1261-1270. 10.1071/FP13147 Cadair

Hegarty, M., Coate, J., Sherman-Broyles, S., Abbott, R.J., Hiscock, S.J., Doyle, J. 2013. Lessons from Natural and Artificial Polyploids in Higher Plants. Cytogenetic and Genome Research 140 (2-4) pp. 204-225. 10.1159/000353361 Cadair

Winton, C.L., Hegarty, M.J., McMahon, R., Slavov, G.T., McEwan, N.R., Davies-Morel, M.C.G., Morgan, C.T., Powell, W., Nash, D.M. 2013. Genetic diversity and phylogenetic analysis of the native mountain ponies of Britain and Ireland reveal a novel rare population. Ecology and Evolution 3 (4) pp. 934–947. 10.1002/ece3.507 Cadair

Jones, C.M., Hegarty, M.J., Ravagnani, A. 2013. The production and analysis of a synthetic hybrid: Trifolium pallescens x Trifolium occidentale. Plant and Animal Genome XXI. Other Cadair

Hegarty, M.J., Yadav, R.S., Lee, M.R., Armstead, I.P., Sanderson, R., Scollan, N.D., Powell, W., Skøt, L. 2013. Genotyping by RAD sequencing enables mapping of fatty acid composition traits in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne (L.)). Plant Biotechnology Journal 11 (5) pp. 572–581. 10.1111/pbi.12045 Cadair

Edwards, A., Pachebat, J.A., Swain, M.T., Hegarty, M.J., Hodson, A.J., Irvine-Fynn, T.D., Edwards Rassner, S.M., Sattler, B. 2013. A metagenomic snapshot of taxonomic and functional diversity in an Alpine glacier cryoconite ecosystem: Alpine cryoconite metagenome. Environmental Research Letters 8 (3) 035003 10.1088/1748-9326/8/3/035003 Cadair


Winton, C.L., Hegarty, M.J., Slavov, G.T., McEwan, N.R., Davies-Morel, M.C.G., Potter, C., Powell, W., Nash, D.M. 2012. Phylogeographic relationships between native pony populations of Britain and Ireland. Cadair

Hegarty, M.J. 2012. Invasion of the hybrids. Molecular Ecology 21 (19) pp. 4669-4671. 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2012.05720.x Cadair


Allen, A., Thorogood, C.J., Hegarty, M.J., Lexer, C., Hiscock, S.J. 2011. Pollen-pistil interactions and self-incompatibility in the Asteraceae: new insights from studies of Senecio squalidus (Oxford ragwort). Annals of Botany 108 (4) pp. 687-698. 10.1093/aob/mcr147 Cadair

Hegarty, M.J. 2011. Hybridization: Expressing yourself in a crowd. Current Biology 21 (7) pp. R254-R255. 10.1016/j.cub.2011.02.035 Cadair

Reader, R., Parrott, C., Hegarty, M., McEwan, N.R., Davies-Morel, M., Powell, W., Nash, D.M. 2011. An investigation of the role of Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) in determining adult height of the horse. BSAS. Cadair

Hegarty, M.J., Batstone, T., Barker, G.L., Edwards, K.J., Abbott, R.J., Hiscock, S.J. 2011. Nonadditive changes to cytosine methylation as a consequence of hybridization and genome duplication in Senecio (Asteraceae). Molecular Ecology 20 (1) pp. 105-113. 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2010.04926.x Cadair

Winton, C.L., Hegarty, M.J., McEwan, N.R., Davies-Morel, M.C.G., Powell, W., Nash, D.M. 2011. Characterisation of phylogeographic relationships between native pony populations of Britain and Ireland. Ecological Genetics Group. Cadair


Abbott, R.J., Hegarty, M.J., Hiscock, S.J., Brennan, A.C. 2010. Homoploid hybrid speciation in action. Taxon 59 (5) pp. 1375-1386. Cadair Other


Jones, R.N., Hegarty, M. 2009. Order out of chaos in the hybrid plant nucleus. Cytogenetic and Genome Research 126 (4) pp. 376-389. 10.1159/000266171 Cadair

Hegarty, M.J., Hiscock, S.J. 2009. The complex nature of allopolyploid plant genomes. Heredity 103 (2) pp. 100-101. 10.1038/hdy.2009.61 Cadair Other

Abbott, R.J., Brennan, A.C., James, J.K., Forbes, D.G., Hegarty, M.J., Hiscock, S.J. 2009. Recent hybrid origin and invasion of the British Isles by a self-incompatible species, Oxford ragwort (Senecio squalidus L., Asteraceae). Biological Invasions 11 (5) pp. 1145-1158. 10.1007/s10530-008-9382-3 Cadair

Hegarty, M.J., Barker, G.L., Brennan, A.C., Brennan, A.C., Edwards, K.J., Abbott, R.J., Hiscock, S.J. 2009. Extreme changes to gene expression associated with homoploid hybrid speciation. Molecular Ecology 18 (5) pp. 877-889. 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2008.04054.x Cadair


Hegarty, M.J., Barker, G.L., Brennan, A.C., Edwards, K.J., Abbott, R.J., Hiscock, S.J. 2008. Changes to gene expression assocaitted with hybrid speciation in plants: further insights from transcriptomic studies in Senecio. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 363 (1506) pp. 3055-3069. 10.1098/rstb.2008.0080 Cadair