Alternative genetic models for the inheritance of the phenylthiocarbamide taste deficiency

Genet Epidemiol. 1989;6(3):423-34. doi: 10.1002/gepi.1370060305.


Pedigree segregation analysis was used to examine several one- and two-locus models of the inheritance of phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) taste deficiency that extend the traditional one-locus recessive model by the addition of either another allele or another locus, and in some cases predict two types of nontasters. These models allow nontaster by nontaster matings to produce taster offspring, consistent with our data and several previous studies which use the Harris and Kalmus [Annals of Eugenics 15:24-32, 1949] dilution method. The models fit our data set of 1,152 individuals from 120 families significantly better than the one-locus recessive model. The best fit was obtained with a two-locus model in which one locus controls PTC tasting and the other locus controls a more general taste ability. This model is consistent with research on the physiology of PTC tasting and with results from genetic linkage studies. Further study is suggested to evaluate better the accuracy of the proposed model.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alleles*
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genes, Recessive*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Models, Genetic*
  • Phenylthiourea*
  • Taste Disorders / genetics*


  • Phenylthiourea