Apr 27, 2020

Heritability jointly Explained by Host Genotype and Microbiome:Will Improve Traits Prediction?

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
D. Awany, Emile R Chimusa


As we observe the 70th anniversary of the publication by Robertson that formalized the notion of 'heritability', geneticists remain puzzled by the problem of missing/hidden heritability, where heritability estimates from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) fall short of that from twin-based studies. Many possible explanations have been offered for this discrepancy, including existence of genetic variants poorly captured by existing arrays, dominance, epistasis, and unaccounted-for environmental factors; albeit these remain controversial. We believe a substantial part of this problem could be solved or better understood by incorporating the host's microbiota information in the GWAS model for heritability estimation; ultimately also increasing human traits prediction for clinical utility. This is because, despite empirical observations such as (i) the intimate role of the microbiome in many complex human phenotypes, (ii) the overlap between genetic variants associated with both microbiome attributes and complex diseases, and (iii) the existence of heritable bacterial taxa, current GWAS models for heritability estimate do not take into account the contributory role of the microbiome. Furthermore, heritability estimate from twin...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Demographic Analysis
Germ-Line Mutation
Human Genetics
Germline Mutation Abnormality
Gstt2 protein, rat
Mutation Abnormality
Biological Evolution
Biological Factors

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