Genome sharing in large pedigrees: Multiple imputation of ibd for linkage detection

Elizabeth Thompson, Saonli Basu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Our objective is the development of robust methods for assessment of evidence for linkage of loci affecting a complex trait to a marker linkage group, using data on extended pedigrees. Using Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods, it is possible to sample realizations from the distribution of gene identity by descent (ibd) patterns on a pedigree, conditional on observed data YM at multiple marker loci. Measures of gene ibd W which capture joint genome sharing in extended pedigrees often have unknown and highly skewed distributions, particularly when conditioned on marker data. MCMC provides a direct estimate of the distribution of such measures. Let W be the ibd measure from data YM, and W* the ibd measure from pseudo-data Y*M simulated with the same data availability and genetic marker model as the true data YM, but in the absence of linkage. Then measures of the difference in distributions of W and W* provide evidence for linkage. This approach extracts more information from the data YM than either comparison to the pedigree prior distribution of W or use of statistics that are expectations of W given the data YM. A small example is presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-125
Number of pages7
JournalHuman heredity
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 2003


  • Identity by descent
  • Inheritance vector
  • MCMC
  • Multiple imputation

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