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Ann Hum Genet. 2008 Jan;72(Pt 1):115-25. Epub 2007 Nov 27.

An extension of the regression of offspring on mid-parent to test for association and estimate locus-specific heritability: the revised ROMP method.

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Genometrics Section, Inherited Disease Research Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.


The Regression of Offspring on Mid-Parent (ROMP) method is a test of association between a quantitative trait and a candidate locus. ROMP estimates the trait heritability and the heritability attributable to a locus and requires genotyping the offspring only. In this study, the theory underlying ROMP was revised (ROMP(rev)) and extended. Computer simulations were used to determine the type I error and power of the test of association, and the accuracy of the locus-specific heritability estimate. The ROMP(rev) test had good power at the 5% significance level with properly controlled type I error. Locus-specific heritability estimates were, on average, close to simulated values. For non-zero locus-specific heritability, the proposed standard error was downwardly biased, yielding reduced coverage of 95% confidence intervals. A bootstrap approach with proper coverage is suggested as a second step for loci of interest. ROMP(rev) was applied to a study of cardiovascular-related traits to illustrate its use. An association between polymorphisms within the fibrinogen gene cluster and plasma fibrinogen was detected (p < 0.005) that accounted for 29% of the estimated fibrinogen heritability. The ROMP(rev) method provides a computationally fast and simple way of testing for association and obtaining accurate estimates of locus-specific heritability while minimizing the genotyping required.

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