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Genomics. 1996 Aug 15;36(1):1-16.

Disequilibrium mapping: composite likelihood for pairwise disequilibrium.

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  • 1Department of Statistics, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 15213, USA.


The pattern of linkage disequilibrium between a disease locus and a set of marker loci has been shown to be a useful tool for geneticists searching for disease genes. Several methods have been advanced to utilize the pairwise disequilibrium between the disease locus and each of a set of marker loci. However, none of the methods take into account the information from all pairs simultaneously while also modeling the variability in the disequilibrium values due to the evolutionary dynamics of the population. We propose a Composite Likelihood (CL) model that has these features when the physical distances between the marker loci are known or can be approximated. In this instance, and assuming that there is a single disease mutation, the CL model depends on only three parameters, the recombination fraction between the disease locus and an arbitrary marker locus, theta, the age of the mutation, and a variance parameter. When the CL is maximized over a grid of theta, it provides a graph that can direct the search for the disease locus. We also show how the CL model can be generalized to account for multiple disease mutations. Evolutionary simulations demonstrate the power of the analyses, as well as their potential weaknesses. Finally, we analyze the data from two mapped diseases, cystic fibrosis and diastrophic dysplasia, finding that the CL method performs well in both cases.

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