Maximum-likelihood estimation of gene location by linkage disequilibrium

Am J Hum Genet. 1994 Apr;54(4):705-14.


Linkage disequilibrium, D, between a polymorphic disease and mapped markers can, in principle, be used to help find the map position of the disease gene. Likelihoods are therefore derived for the value of D conditional on the observed number of haplotypes in the sample and on the population parameter Nc, where N is the effective population size and c the recombination fraction between the disease and marker loci. The likelihood is computed explicitly for the case of two loci with heterozygote superiority and, more generally, by computer simulations assuming a steady state of constant population size and selective pressures or neutrality. It is found that the likelihood is, in general, not very dependent on the degree of selection at the loci and is very flat. This suggests that precise information on map position will not be obtained from estimates of linkage disequilibrium.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Mapping / methods*
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / genetics
  • Genetics, Population*
  • Haplotypes
  • Humans
  • Likelihood Functions*
  • Linkage Disequilibrium*
  • Models, Genetic*