Validating, augmenting and refining genome-wide association signals

Nat Rev Genet. 2009 May;10(5):318-29. doi: 10.1038/nrg2544.


Studies using genome-wide platforms have yielded an unprecedented number of promising signals of association between genomic variants and human traits. This Review addresses the steps required to validate, augment and refine such signals to identify underlying causal variants for well-defined phenotypes. These steps include: large-scale exact replication across both similar and diverse populations; fine mapping and resequencing; determination of the most informative markers and multiple independent informative loci; incorporation of functional information; and improved phenotype mapping of the implicated genetic effects. Even in cases for which replication proves that an effect exists, confident localization of the causal variant often remains elusive.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Genetic Heterogeneity
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Genome
  • Genome-Wide Association Study / methods*
  • Humans
  • Phenotype
  • Reproducibility of Results