Multipoint genetic mapping with trisomy data

Am J Hum Genet. 2001 Dec;69(6):1255-65. doi: 10.1086/324578. Epub 2001 Nov 5.


Trisomy is the most common genetic abnormality in humans and is the leading cause of mental retardation. Although molecular studies that use a large number of highly polymorphic markers have been undertaken to understand the recombination patterns for chromosome abnormalities, there is a lack of multilocus approaches to incorporating crossover interference in the analysis of human trisomy data. In the present article, we develop two statistical methods that simultaneously use all genetic information in trisomy data. The first approach relies on a general relationship between multilocus trisomy probabilities and multilocus ordered-tetrad probabilities. Under the assumption that no more than one chiasma exists in each marker interval, we describe how to use the expectation-maximization algorithm to examine the probability distribution of the recombination events underlying meioses that lead to trisomy. One limitation of the first approach is that the amount of computation increases exponentially with the number of markers. The second approach models the crossover process as a chi(2) model. We describe how to use hidden Markov models to evaluate multilocus trisomy probabilities. Our methods are applicable when both parents are available or when only the nondisjoining parent is available. For both methods, genetic distances among a set of markers can be estimated and the pattern of overall chiasma distribution can be inspected for differences in recombination between meioses exhibiting trisomy and normal meioses. We illustrate the proposed approaches through their application to a set of trisomy 21 data.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Chromosome Mapping / methods*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Crossing Over, Genetic / genetics
  • Down Syndrome / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Markers / genetics
  • Humans
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Male
  • Markov Chains
  • Meiosis / genetics
  • Models, Genetic
  • Nondisjunction, Genetic


  • Genetic Markers