Parent-of-origin effects on quantitative phenotypes in a large Hutterite pedigree

Commun Biol. 2019 Jan 18:2:28. doi: 10.1038/s42003-018-0267-4. eCollection 2019.


The impact of the parental origin of associated alleles in GWAS has been largely ignored. Yet sequence variants could affect traits differently depending on whether they are inherited from the mother or the father, as in imprinted regions, where identical inherited DNA sequences can have different effects based on the parental origin. To explore parent-of-origin effects (POEs), we studied 21 quantitative phenotypes in a large Hutterite pedigree to identify variants with single parent (maternal-only or paternal-only) effects, and then variants with opposite parental effects. Here we show that POEs, which can be opposite in direction, are relatively common in humans, have potentially important clinical effects, and will be missed in traditional GWAS. We identified POEs with 11 phenotypes, most of which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Many of the loci identified are characteristic of imprinted regions and are associated with the expression of nearby genes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Alleles
  • Genetic Association Studies*
  • Genetic Markers
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Models, Genetic
  • Nuclear Family*
  • Parents*
  • Pedigree*
  • Phenotype*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide


  • Genetic Markers