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Bioinformatics. 2006 Jul 15;22(14):e211-9.

BNTagger: improved tagging SNP selection using Bayesian networks.

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School of Computing, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada.


Genetic variation analysis holds much promise as a basis for disease-gene association. However, due to the tremendous number of candidate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), there is a clear need to expedite genotyping by selecting and considering only a subset of all SNPs. This process is known as tagging SNP selection. Several methods for tagging SNP selection have been proposed, and have shown promising results. However, most of them rely on strong assumptions such as prior block-partitioning, bi-allelic SNPs, or a fixed number or location of tagging SNPs. We introduce BNTagger, a new method for tagging SNP selection, based on conditional independence among SNPs. Using the formalism of Bayesian networks (BNs), our system aims to select a subset of independent and highly predictive SNPs. Similar to previous prediction-based methods, we aim to maximize the prediction accuracy of tagging SNPs, but unlike them, we neither fix the number nor the location of predictive tagging SNPs, nor require SNPs to be bi-allelic. In addition, for newly-genotyped samples, BNTagger directly uses genotype data as input, while producing as output haplotype data of all SNPs. Using three public data sets, we compare the prediction performance of our method to that of three state-of-the-art tagging SNP selection methods. The results demonstrate that our method consistently improves upon previous methods in terms of prediction accuracy. Moreover, our method retains its good performance even when a very small number of tagging SNPs are used.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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