Linkage analysis of a complex disease through use of admixed populations

American Journal of Human Genetics
Xiaofeng ZhuRobert C Elston


Linkage disequilibrium arising from the recent admixture of genetically distinct populations can be potentially useful in mapping genes for complex diseases. McKeigue has proposed a method that conditions on parental admixture to detect linkage. We show that this method tests for linkage only under specific assumptions, such as equal admixture in the parental generation and admixture that occurs in a single generation. In practice, these assumptions are unlikely to hold for natural populations, resulting in an inflation of the type I error rate when testing for linkage by this method. In this article, we generalize McKeigue's approach of testing for linkage to allow two different admixture models: (1) intermixture admixture and (2) continuous gene flow. We calculate the sample size required for a genomewide search by this method under different disease models: multiplicative, additive, recessive, and dominant. Our results show that the sample size required to obtain 90% power to detect a putative mutant allele at a genomewide significance level of 5% can usually be achieved in practice if informative markers are available at a density of 2 cM.


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