Waite Ag, Food & Wine Seminar: Dr Nathan Watson-Haigh

Nathan Watson-Haigh

Dr Nathan Watson-Haigh

Research Fellow in Bioinformatics, School of Biological Sciences

Nathan has over 15 years experience in the field of bioinformatics with expertise in genomics, transcriptomics, system biology, phylogenetics, bioinformatics training, Linux systems administration, pipeline development, high-performance and cloud computing. He has held Postdoctoral research positions with the CSIRO, the Australian Wine Research Institute and joined the ACPFG in the School of Ag, Food & Wine in late 2013.


Democratising the growing body of genome sequencing data available for Triticum aestivum (bread wheat) has been impeded by the lack of a genome reference and the large computational requirements for analysing these data sets.

DAWN (Diversity Among Wheat geNomes) integrates data from the T. aestivum Chinese Spring (CS) IWGSC RefSeq v1.0 genome with public WGS and exome data from 17 and 62 accessions respectively, enabling researchers and breeders alike to investigate genotypic differences between wheat accessions at the level of whole chromosomes down to individual genes.

Using DAWN it is possible to visualise small and large chromosomal deletions, identify haplotypes at a glance and spot the consequences of selective breeding. DAWN allows us to detect the break points of alien introgression segments brought into an accession when transferring desired genes. Furthermore, we can find possible explanations for reduced recombination in parts of a chromosome, we can predict regions with linkage drag, and also look at diversity in centromeric regions.

Watson-Haigh et al. (2018) https://doi.org/10.1186/s12864-018-5228-2

Tagged in Agricultural science, Agriculture Food and Wine, Research seminar, Waite campus, Plant science