Background: The traditional exact method for inferring relationships between individuals from genetic data is not easily applicable in all situations that may be encountered in several fields of applied genetics. This study describes an approach that gives affordable results and is easily applicable; it is based on the probabilities that two individuals share 0, 1 or both alleles at a locus identical by state. Results: We show that these probabilities (zi) depend on locus heterozygosity (H), and are scarcely affected by variation of the distribution of allele frequencies. This allows us to obtain empirical curves relating zi's to H for a series of common relationships, so that the likelihood ratio of a pair of relationships between any two individuals, given their genotypes at a locus, is a function of a single parameter, H. Application to large samples of mother-child and full-sib pairs shows that the statistical power of this method to infer the correct relationship is not much lower than the exact method. Analysis of a large database of STR data proves that locus heterozygosity does not vary significantly among Caucasian populations, apart from special cases, so that the likelihood ratio of the more common relationships between pairs of individuals may be obtained by looking at tabulated zi values. Conclusions: A simple method is provided, which may be used by any scientist with the help of a calculator or a spreadsheet to compute the likelihood ratios of common alternative relationships between pairs of individuals.

Inferring relationships between pairs of individuals from locus heterozygosities

VERDIANI, SIMONETTA;DE STEFANO, FRANCESCO;
2002

Abstract

Background: The traditional exact method for inferring relationships between individuals from genetic data is not easily applicable in all situations that may be encountered in several fields of applied genetics. This study describes an approach that gives affordable results and is easily applicable; it is based on the probabilities that two individuals share 0, 1 or both alleles at a locus identical by state. Results: We show that these probabilities (zi) depend on locus heterozygosity (H), and are scarcely affected by variation of the distribution of allele frequencies. This allows us to obtain empirical curves relating zi's to H for a series of common relationships, so that the likelihood ratio of a pair of relationships between any two individuals, given their genotypes at a locus, is a function of a single parameter, H. Application to large samples of mother-child and full-sib pairs shows that the statistical power of this method to infer the correct relationship is not much lower than the exact method. Analysis of a large database of STR data proves that locus heterozygosity does not vary significantly among Caucasian populations, apart from special cases, so that the likelihood ratio of the more common relationships between pairs of individuals may be obtained by looking at tabulated zi values. Conclusions: A simple method is provided, which may be used by any scientist with the help of a calculator or a spreadsheet to compute the likelihood ratios of common alternative relationships between pairs of individuals.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11567/392484
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