Background: Pairs of related individuals are widely used in linkage analysis. Most of the tests for linkage analysis are based on statistics associated with identity by descent (IBD) data. The current biotechnology provides data on very densely packed loci, and therefore, it may provide almost continuous IBD data for pairs of closely related individuals. Therefore, the distribution theory for statistics on continuous IBD data is of interest. In particular, distributional results which allow the evaluation of p-values for relevant tests are of importance.
Results: A technology is provided for numerical evaluation, with any given accuracy, of the cumulative probabilities of some statistics on continuous genome data for pairs of closely related individuals. In the case of a pair of full-sibs, the following statistics are considered: (i) the proportion of genome with 2 (at least 1) haplotypes shared identical-by-descent (IBD) on a chromosomal segment, (ii) the number of distinct pieces (subsegments) of a chromosomal segment, on each of which exactly 2 (at least 1) haplotypes are shared IBD. The natural counterparts of these statistics for the other relationships are also considered. Relevant Maple codes are provided for a rapid evaluation of the cumulative probabilities of such statistics. The genomic continuum model, with Haldane's model for the crossover process, is assumed.
Conclusions: A technology, together with relevant software codes for its automated implementation, are provided for exact evaluation of the distributions of relevant statistics associated with continuous genome data on closely related individuals.