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Genetic structure and the search for genotype-phenotype relationships: an example from disequilibrium in the Apo B gene region

Genetic structure and the search for genotype-phenotype relationships: an example from disequilibrium in the Apo B gene region

Genetics 129(2): 525-533

We analyzed allelic associations (disequilibria) for four restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) in the region of the 43-kb Apo B gene in a sample of 233 unrelated individuals from Montreal, Canada, sampled for health. This total sample (T) included 160 individuals of known French Canadian (FC) ancestry. We present a rigorous application of current methodology to these samples, including estimation of type II error probabilities and correlations between markers for estimates of disequilibria. We then consider the utility of these estimates of allelic disequilibria for the interpretation of genotype-phenotype relations. Significant deviations from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium were not predicted by proximity to other markers in disequilibrium. We found significant quadri-allelic disequilibrium for two marker pairs despite absence of significant deviations from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium for either marker or tri-allelic disequilibrium, respectively. Altogether these results underscore the complexity of the genotypic structure of the data. A combination of nonevolutionary factors, including sampling for health, small sample size and data exclusion due to methodological constraints of not successfully typing all members of the sample for every RFLP, is a likely explanation for this complexity. These types of factors are common to many RFLP studies. Patterns of composite di-allelic disequilibrium indicated that some RFLP allele pairs may have a longer shared evolutionary history than others and that disequilibrium is not predicted by distance between RFLPs. Type II error probabilities were generally much higher than those for type I errors. Correlations between marker pairs for disequilibria were generally not high. We show from a review of 14 published studies of association between the XbaI RFLP and variation in a total of 15 lipid traits that deviations from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium can cause substantial differences in the estimation of variability associated with phenotypic differences among marker genotypes relative to Hardy-Weinberg conditions.

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Accession: 040208307

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PMID: 1683849

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