Dr Matthew Hegarty


Dr Matthew Hegarty

Senior Lecturer

Institute Director of Employability

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.


Population structure of red clover ecotypes collected from Europe and AsiaJones, C., de Vega, J., Lloyd, D., Hegarty, M., Ayling, S., Powell, W. & Skot, L. 2018 Breeding Grasses and Protein Crops in the Era of Genomics. Brazauskas, G., Statkevičiūtė, G. & Jonavičienė, K. (eds.). Springer Nature, p. 20-26
Generalisation and specialisation in hoverfly (Syrphidae) grassland pollen transport networks revealed by DNA metabarcoding.Lucas, A., Bodger, O., Brosi, B. J., Ford, C. R., Forman, D. W., Greig, C., Hegarty, M., Neyland, P. J. & De Vere, N. 2018 In : Journal of Animal Ecology.
Accessing and Dissecting Genomic Regions for High Grain Iron and Zinc Content Using GWAS in Pearl MilletManwaring, H. R., Hegarty, M., Winters, A., Bligh, F. & Yadav, R. 2018 (Accepted/In press) 1 p.
Floral resource partitioning by individuals within generalised hoverfly pollination networks revealed by DNA metabarcodingLucas, A., Bodger, O., Brosi, B. J., Ford, C. R., Forman, D. W., Greig, C., Hegarty, M., Jones, L. E., Neyland, P. J. & De Vere, N. 2018 In : Scientific Reports.8, 5133
Draft Genome Assemblies of Xylose-Utilizing Candida tropicalis and Candida boidinii with Potential Application in Biochemical and Biofuel ProductionSomani, A., Smith, D., Hegarty, M., Fernandez-Fuentes, N., Ravella, S., Gallagher, J. & Bryant, D. 2018 In : Genome Announcements.6, 7, e01594-17
Genome Sequence of Human Rhinovirus A22, Strain Lancaster/2015Atkinson, 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. 2018 In : Genome Announcements.5, 12
Nasopharyngeal metagenomic deep sequencing data, Lancaster, UK, 2014-2015Atkinson, 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 In : Scientific Reports.4, 170161
Re-Interpreting Mitogenomes: Are Nuclear/Mitochondrial Sequence Duplications Correctly Characterised in Published Sequence Databases? Skujina, I., McMahon, R. & Hegarty, M. 2017 In : Insights in Genetics and Genomics.1, 6.1
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 GenesThorogood, D., Yates, S., Manzanares, C., Skot, L., Hegarty, M., Blackmore, T., Barth, S. & Studer, B. 2017 In : Frontiers in Plant Science.8, 13 p., 1331
A pilot study using metagenomic sequencing of the sputum microbiome suggests potential bacterial biomarkers for lung cancerCameron, S., Lewis, K. E., Huws, S., Hegarty, M., Lewis, P. D., Pachebat, J. A. & Mur, L. 2017 In : PLoS One. 0177062
Genome Sequence of Human Papillomavirus 23 Strain HPV-23/Lancaster/2015Atkinson, 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 In : Genome Announcements.5, 20, e00257-17
Deep sequencing of Suppression Subtractive Hybridisation drought and recovery libraries of the non-model crop Trifolium repens L.Bisaga, M., Lowe, M., Hegarty, M., Abberton, M. & Ravagnani, A. 2017 In : Frontiers in Plant Science.8, 213
Using DNA metabarcoding to investigate honey bee foraging reveals limited flower use despite high floral availability.De Vere, N., Jones, L. E., Gilmore, T., Moscrop, J., Lowe, A., Smith, D., Hegarty, M., Creer, S. & Ford, C. R. 2017 In : Scientific Reports.7, 42838
Temporal metagenomic and metabolomic chracterization of fresh perennial ryegrass degradation by rumen bacteriaMayorga, O., Kingston-Smith, A., Kim, E. J., Allison, G., Wilkinson, T., Hegarty, M., Newbold, C., Theodorou, M. & Huws, S. 2016 In : Frontiers in Microbiology.7, 1854
De-novo transcriptome assembly for gene identification, analysis, annotation, and molecular marker discovery in Onobrychis viciifoliaMora-Ortiz, M., Swain, M., Vickers, M., Hegarty, M., Kelly, R., Smith, L. & Skot, L. 2016 In : BMC Genomics.17, 13 p., 756
Duplication of the mitochondrial control region is associated with increased longevity in birdsSkujina, I., McMahon, R., Lenis, V. P., Gkoutos, G. & Hegarty, M. 2016 In : Aging.8, 8, p. 1781-17899 p.
Germplasm dynamics: the role of ecotypic diversity in shaping the patterns of genetic variation in Lolium perenneBlackmore, T., Thorogood, D., Skot, L., McMahon, R., Powell, W. & Hegarty, M. 2016 In : Scientific Reports.6, 11 p., 22603
Implementation of genomic prediction in Lolium perenne (L.) breeding populationsGrinberg, 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 In : Frontiers in Plant Science.7, 133
Metagenomic Sequencing of the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Upper Bronchial Tract Microbiome Reveals Functional Changes Associated with Disease SeverityCameron, S., E. Lewis, K., Huws, S., Lin, W., Hegarty, M., D. Lewis, P., Mur, L. & Pachebat, J. A. 2016 In : PLoS One.11, 2, 0149095
Developing low GI pearl millet and its potential in combating diabetesKam, J., Hegarty, M., Manwaring, H. R., Yadav, R. & Yadav, R. 2016
Red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) draft genome provides a platform for trait improvementde Vega, J., Ayling, S., Hegarty, M. J., Kudrna, D., Goicoechea, J. L., Ergon, Å., Rognli, O-A., 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 In : Scientific Reports.5, 17394
Epigenetic regulation of sex ratios may explain natural variation in self-fertilization ratesEllison, 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 In : Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.282, 1819, p. 1900
Genetic-geographic correlation revealed across a broad European ecotypic sample of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) using array-based SNP genotypingBlackmore, T., Thomas, I., McMahon, R., Powell, W. & Hegarty, M. 2015 In : Theoretical and Applied Genetics.128, 10, p. 1917-193216 p.
Genetic Analysis of Pedigree Welsh Pigs and British Landrace Pigs in relation to discriminating between pork products from these two breedsMcMahon, R., Debbonaire, A. & Hegarty, M. 2015 Aberystwyth: Prifysgol Aberystwyth | Aberystwyth University. 18 p.
The human salivary microbiome exhibits temporal stability in bacterial diversityCameron, S. J. S., Huws, S., Hegarty, M. J., Smith, D. P. M. & Mur, L. A. J. 2015 In : FEMS Microbiology Ecology.91, 9, fiv091
Generation of whole genome sequences of new Cryptosporidium hominis and Cryptosporidium parvum isolates directly from stool samplesHadfield, 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 In : BMC Genomics.16, 650
Using DNA Metabarcoding to Identify the Floral Composition of Honey. A New Tool for Investigating Honey Bee Foraging PreferencesHawkins, J., de Vere, N., Griffith, A., Ford, C. R., Allainguillaume, J., Hegarty, M. J., Baillie, L. & Adams-Groom, B. 2015 In : PLoS One.10, 8, p. e0134735
Comparative genetic diversity in a sample of pony breeds from the UK and North America: A case study in the conservation of global genetic resourcesWinton, C. L., Plant, Y., Hind, P., McMahon, R., Hegarty, M., McEwan, N., Davies-Morel, M., Powell, W. & Nash, D. 2015 In : Ecology and Evolution.5, 16, p. 3507-352231 p.
Draft Genomes, Phylogenetic Reconstruction, and Comparative Genomics of Two Novel Cohabiting Bacterial Symbionts Isolated from Frankliniella occidentalisFacey, 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 In : Genome Biology and Evolution.7, 8, p. 2188-220215 p.
Developing low GI pearl millet and its potential in combatting diabetesGonen, S., Hegarty, M., Yadav, R., Manwaring, H. R. & Yadav, R. 2015
Assessment of Genetic Relationship between Six Populations of Welsh Mountain Sheep using Microsatellite MarkersHuson, K. M., Haresign, W., Hegarty, M., Blackmore, T., Potter, C. & McEwan, N. 2015 In : Czech Journal of Animal Science.60, 5, p. 216-2238 p.
Progress in Oat FISHIS and Chromosome Specific SequencingGiorgi, D., Farina, A., Langdon, T., Hegarty, M., Bisaga, M. R. & Lucretti, S. 2015
Comparitive population genomics of red clover domestication and improvementJones, C., Lloyd, D., Hegarty, M., de Vega, J., Ayling, S. & Skot, L. 2015 Proceedings of the 12th British Grassland Society Research Conference.British Grassland Society, p. 59-60
Transcriptomic analysis of the lesser spotted catshark (Scyliorhinus canicula) pancreas, liver and brain reveals molecular level conservation of vertebrate pancreas functionMully, J. F., Hargreaves, A., Hegarty, M., Heller, R. S. & Swain, M. 2014 In : BMC Genomics.15, 1074
Metaphylogenomic and Potential Functionality of the Limpet Patella pellucida’s Gastrointestinal Tract MicrobiomeDudek, M., Adams, J., Swain, M., Hegarty, M., Huws, S. & Gallagher, J. 2014 In : International Journal of Molecular Sciences.15, 10, p. 18819-18839
A genetic association between leaf elongation rate and flowering time in perennial ryegrass.Thorogood, D., Blackmore, T. M., Mathews, R., Allen, D., MacDuff, J. H. & Hegarty, M. J. 2014 Quantitative Traits Breeding for Multifunctional Grasslands and Turf. Sokolović, . D., Huyghe, C. & Radović, J. (eds.). Springer Nature, p. 267-2714 p.
Restriction and recruitment-gene duplication and the origin and evolution of snake venom toxinsHargreaves, A., Swain, M. T., Hegarty, M. J., Darren, L. & John, M. 2014 In : Genome Biology and Evolution.6, 8, p. 2088-20957 p.
De novo assembly of red clover transcriptome based on RNA-Seq data provides insight into drought response, gene discovery and marker identificationYates, 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 In : BMC Genomics.15, p. 45315 p.
The Genetic Control of Self-Incompatibility in Grasses Revisited – Are There Really Just Two Loci?Thorogood, D., Manzanares, C., Hegarty, M. J., Asp, T., Barth, S. & Studer, B. 2014 p. W092
Exploiting a fast neutron mutant genetic resource in Pisum sativum L. (pea) for functional genomicsDomoney, 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 In : Functional Plant Biology.40, 12, p. 1261-12709 p.
Lessons from Natural and Artificial Polyploids in Higher PlantsHegarty, M., Coate, J., Sherman-Broyles, S., Abbott, R. J., Hiscock, S. J. & Doyle, J. 2013 In : Cytogenetic and Genome Research.140, 2-4, p. 204-22522 p.
Genetic diversity and phylogenetic analysis of the native mountain ponies of Britain and Ireland reveal a novel rare populationWinton, 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 In : Ecology and Evolution.3, 4, p. 934–94714 p.
The production and analysis of a synthetic hybrid: Trifolium pallescens x Trifolium occidentaleJones, C. M., Hegarty, M. J. & Ravagnani, A. 2013 p. P03651 p.
Genotyping by RAD sequencing enables mapping of fatty acid composition traits in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne (L.))Hegarty, M. J., Yadav, R. S., Lee, M. R., Armstead, I. P., Sanderson, R., Scollan, N. D., Powell, W. & Skøt, L. 2013 In : Plant Biotechnology Journal.11, 5, p. 572–581
A metagenomic snapshot of taxonomic and functional diversity in an Alpine glacier cryoconite ecosystem: Alpine cryoconite metagenomeEdwards, A., Pachebat, J. A., Swain, M. T., Hegarty, M. J., Hodson, A. J., Irvine-Fynn, T. D., Edwards Rassner, S. M. & Sattler, B. 2013 In : Environmental Research Letters.8, 3, 035003
Red Kite Genetics – The ResearchMcMahon, R. & Hegarty, M. J. 2013 Boda Wennol, 28 3 p.
Invasion of the hybridsHegarty, M. J. 2012 In : Molecular Ecology.21, 19, p. 4669-46713 p.
Phylogeographic relationships between native pony populations of Britain and IrelandWinton, C. L., Hegarty, M. J., Slavov, G. T., McEwan, N. R., Davies-Morel, M. C. G., Potter, C., Powell, W. & Nash, D. M. 2012
Pollen-pistil interactions and self-incompatibility in the Asteraceae: new insights from studies of Senecio squalidus (Oxford ragwort)Allen, A., Thorogood, C. J., Hegarty, M. J., Lexer, C. & Hiscock, S. J. 2011 In : Annals of Botany.108, 4, p. 687-69812 p.
Hybridization: Expressing yourself in a crowdHegarty, M. J. 2011 In : Current Biology.21, 7, p. R254-R255
An investigation of the role of Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) in determining adult height of the horseReader, R., Parrott, C., Hegarty, M., McEwan, N. R., Davies-Morel, M., Powell, W. & Nash, D. M. 2011 p. 175-1751 p.
Nonadditive changes to cytosine methylation as a consequence of hybridization and genome duplication in Senecio (Asteraceae)Hegarty, M. J., Batstone, T., Barker, G. L., Edwards, K. J., Abbott, R. J. & Hiscock, S. J. 2011 In : Molecular Ecology.20, 1, p. 105-1139 p.
Characterisation of phylogeographic relationships between native pony populations of Britain and Ireland.Winton, C. L., Hegarty, M. J., McEwan, N. R., Davies-Morel, M. C. G., Powell, W. & Nash, D. M. 2011
Homoploid hybrid speciation in actionAbbott, R. J., Hegarty, M. J., Hiscock, S. J. & Brennan, A. C. 2010 In : Taxon.59, 5, p. 1375-138612 p.
Order out of chaos in the hybrid plant nucleusJones, R. N. & Hegarty, M. 2009 In : Cytogenetic and Genome Research.126, 4, p. 376-38914 p.
The complex nature of allopolyploid plant genomesHegarty, M. J. & Hiscock, S. J. 2009 In : Heredity.103, 2, p. 100-1012 p.
Recent hybrid origin and invasion of the British Isles by a self-incompatible species, Oxford ragwort (Senecio squalidus L., Asteraceae)Abbott, R. J., Brennan, A. C., James, J. K., Forbes, D. G., Hegarty, M. J. & Hiscock, S. J. 2009 In : Biological Invasions.11, 5, p. 1145-115814 p.
Extreme changes to gene expression associated with homoploid hybrid speciationHegarty, M. J., Barker, G. L., Brennan, A. C., Brennan, A. C., Edwards, K. J., Abbott, R. J. & Hiscock, S. J. 2009 In : Molecular Ecology.18, 5, p. 877-88913 p.
Changes to gene expression assocaitted with hybrid speciation in plants: further insights from transcriptomic studies in SenecioHegarty, M. J., Barker, G. L., Brennan, A. C., Edwards, K. J., Abbott, R. J. & Hiscock, S. J. 2008 In : Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.363, 1506, p. 3055-306915 p.