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Nat Rev Genet. 2011 Jun 1;12(7):465-74. doi: 10.1038/nrg2989.

Family-based designs for genome-wide association studies.

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Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 4A Datun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China.


Association mapping has successfully identified common SNPs associated with many diseases. However, the inability of this class of variation to account for most of the supposed heritability has led to a renewed interest in methods - primarily linkage analysis - to detect rare variants. Family designs allow for control of population stratification, investigations of questions such as parent-of-origin effects and other applications that are imperfectly or not readily addressed in case-control association studies. This article guides readers through the interface between linkage and association analysis, reviews the new methodologies and provides useful guidelines for applications. Just as effective SNP-genotyping tools helped to realize the potential of association studies, next-generation sequencing tools will benefit genetic studies by improving the power of family-based approaches.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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