Model choice in gene mapping: what and why

Trends Genet. 2002 Jun;18(6):301-7. doi: 10.1016/S0168-9525(02)02688-4.


The choice of an appropriate genetic model describing the genetic architecture underlying a character of interest is an inherent part of the gene mapping studies of human and other living organisms. The genetic model specifies the statistical parameters for the number of genes, their positions, and the types and magnitudes of their contributions to the phenotype. There are many considerations involved in model formulation (choice) ranging from the assumptions concerning the data, the role of environment, and the number of oligogenes (or quantitative trait loci) influencing the trait behavior. There are several model selection procedures and criteria under specific sampling designs in the genetic literature. These approaches often have their origin in computer science or in general statistical theory. Our aim here is to give an overview of the most popular statistical criteria and to present principles behind them. Bayesian model averaging is suggested as a robust alternative for such methods.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Chromosome Mapping / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Models, Genetic*
  • Quantitative Trait, Heritable