Mitchell Lecture: Inference and application of the shared descent of genome in population samples

Elizabeth Thompson (University of Washington)

Thursday 18th May, 2017 16:00-17:00 Hunterian Art Gallery Lecture Theatre (Room 103)


The  relatedness of individuals  is reflected in the close similarity of their DNA that is  descended from shared common ancestors.  Genome descends and functions in segments;  models and methods for the detection of shared segments of genome can greatly increase accuracy.  The descent of genome segments also leads to population-level dependence in DNA observed at contiguous genome locations.  Modeling this dependence in the DNA both among individuals and across genome locations is key to using modern genomic data in the mapping the locations of DNA that contribute to a quantitative trait.  With modern genetic marker (SNP) data, we can estimate pairwise proportions of genome shared both at specific genome locations and globally across the genome, without the need for prior information on pedigree relationships.  We present models for using estimated genome sharing in gene mapping, and also show how Kullback-Leibler information can be used to provide a more reliable assessment of the meaning of a linkage signal in ascertained samples.  Additionally, genome descends jointly to current members of a population: pairwise analyses lose information.  I will present some recent approaches to estimation of the joint patterns of shared genome segments among multiple individuals and indicate how this additional information can be important in gene mapping.

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