Thursday, April 13, 2006

Maximum-likelihood estimation of haplotype frequencies in nuclear families

Genetic Epidemiology 27:21 - 32
Tim Becker, Michael Knapp

Abstract:The importance of haplotype analysis in the context of association fine mapping of disease genes has grown steadily over the last years. Since experimental methods to determine haplotypes on a large scale are not available, phase has to be inferred statistically. For individual genotype data, several reconstruction techniques and many implementations of the expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm for haplotype frequency estimation exist. Recent research work has shown that incorporating available genotype information of related individuals largely increases the precision of haplotype frequency estimates. We, therefore, implemented a highly flexible program written in C, called FAMHAP, which calculates maximum likelihood estimates (MLEs) of haplotype frequencies from general nuclear families with an arbitrary number of children via the EM-algorithm for up to 20 SNPs. For more loci, we have implemented a locus-iterative mode of the EM-algorithm, which gives reliable approximations of the MLEs for up to 63 SNP loci, or less when multi-allelic markers are incorporated into the analysis. Missing genotypes can be handled as well. The program is able to distinguish cases (haplotypes transmitted to the first affected child of a family) from pseudo-controls (non-transmitted haplotypes with respect to the child). ... [Read more by following the link above] © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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