A family-based likelihood ratio test for general pedigree structures that allows for genotyping error and missing data

Yang Yang, Carol A. Wise, Derek Gordon, Stephen J. Finch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


The purpose of this work is the development of a family-based association test that allows for random genotyping errors and missing data and makes use of information on affected and unaffected pedigree members. We derive the conditional likelihood functions of the general nuclear family for the following scenarios: complete parental genotype data and no genotyping errors; only one genotyped parent and no genotyping errors; no parental genotype data and no genotyping errors; and no parental genotype data with genotyping errors. We find maximum likelihood estimates of the marker locus parameters, including the penetrances and population genotype frequencies under the null hypothesis that all penetrance values are equal and under the alternative hypothesis. We then compute the likelihood ratio test. We perform simulations to assess the adequacy of the central chi-square distribution approximation when the null hypothesis is true. We also perform simulations to compare the power of the TDT and this likelihood-based method. Finally, we apply our method to 23 SNPs genotyped in nuclear families from a recently published study of idiopathic scoliosis (IS). Our simulations suggest that this likelihood ratio test statistic follows a central chi-square distribution with 1 degree of freedom under the null hypothesis, even in the presence of missing data and genotyping errors. The power comparison shows that this likelihood ratio test is more powerful than the original TDT for the simulations considered. For the IS data, the marker rs7843033 shows the most significant evidence for our method (p = 0.0003), which is consistent with a previous report, which found rs7843033 to be the 2nd most significant TDTae p value among a set of 23 SNPs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-110
Number of pages12
JournalHuman Heredity
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2008



  • Family based association study
  • Genetic association studies
  • Missing data
  • TDT-like tests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

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