Assessment of parent-of-origin effects in linkage analysis of quantitative traits

Am J Hum Genet. 2001 Apr;68(4):951-62. doi: 10.1086/319508. Epub 2001 Mar 13.


Methods are presented for incorporation of parent-of-origin effects into linkage analysis of quantitative traits. The estimated proportion of marker alleles shared identical by descent is first partitioned into a component derived from the mother and a component derived from the father. These parent-specific estimates of allele sharing are used in variance-components or Haseman-Elston methods of linkage analysis so that the effect of the quantitative-trait locus carried on the maternally derived chromosome is potentially different from the effect of the locus on the paternally derived chromosome. Statistics for linkage between trait and marker loci derived from either or both parents are then calculated, as are statistics for testing whether the effect of the maternally derived locus is equal to that of the paternally derived locus. Analyses of data simulated for 956 siblings from 263 nuclear families who had participated in a linkage study revealed that type I error rates for these statistics were generally similar to nominal values. Power to detect an imprinted locus was substantially increased when analyzed with a model allowing for parent-of-origin effects, compared with analyses that assumed equal effects; for example, for an imprinted locus accounting for 30% of the phenotypic variance, the expected LOD score was 4.5 when parent-of-origin effects were incorporated into the analysis, compared with 3.1 when these effects were ignored. The ability to include parent-of-origin effects within linkage analysis of quantitative traits will facilitate genetic dissection of complex traits.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Chromosome Mapping / methods*
  • Chromosome Mapping / statistics & numerical data
  • Computer Simulation
  • Female
  • Genetic Markers / genetics
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics
  • Genomic Imprinting / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Lod Score
  • Male
  • Models, Genetic
  • Parents*
  • Pedigree
  • Quantitative Trait, Heritable*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Research Design


  • Genetic Markers