Unified sampling approach for multipoint linkage disequilibrium mapping of qualitative and quantitative traits

Fang Chi Hsu, Kung Yee Liang, Terri H. Beaty, Kathleen C. Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rapid development in biotechnology has enhanced the opportunity to deal with multipoint gene mapping for complex diseases, and association studies using quantitative traits have recently generated much attention. Unlike the conventional hypothesis-testing approach for fine mapping, we propose a unified multipoint method to localize a gene controlling a quantitative trait. We first calculate the sample size needed to detect linkage and linkage disequilibrium (LD) for a quantitative trait, categorized by decile, under three different modes of inheritance. Our results show that sampling trios of offspring and their parents from either extremely low (EL) or extremely high (EH) probands provides greater statistical power than sampling in the intermediate range. We next propose a unified sampling approach for multipoint LD mapping, where the goal is to estimate the map position (τ) of a trait locus and to calculate a confidence interval along with its sampling uncertainty. Our method builds upon a model for an expected preferential transmission statistic at an arbitrary locus conditional on the sampling scheme, such as sampling from EL and EH probands. This approach is valid regardless of the underlying genetic model. The one major assumption for this model is that no more than one quantitative trait locus (QTL) is linked to the region being mapped. Finally we illustrate the proposed method using family data on total serum IgE levels collected in multiplex asthmatic families from Barbados. An unobserved QTL appears to be located at τ̂ = 41.93 cM with 95% confidence interval of (40.84, 43.02) through the 20-cM region framed by markers D12S1052 and D12S1064 on chromosome 12. The test statistic shows strong evidence of linkage and LD (chi-square statistic = 18.39 with 2 df, P-value = 0.0001).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-312
Number of pages15
JournalGenetic epidemiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002


  • Case-parent trio
  • Generalized estimating equations
  • Linkage disequilibrium
  • Multipoint mapping
  • Qualitative traits
  • Quantitative traits
  • Transmission/disequilibrium test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Genetics(clinical)

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