Allelic penetrance approach as a tool to model two-locus interaction in complex binary traits.

Sepúlveda, N; Paulino, CD; Carneiro, J; Penha-Gonçalves, C; (2007) Allelic penetrance approach as a tool to model two-locus interaction in complex binary traits. Heredity, 99 (2). pp. 173-84. ISSN 0018-067X DOI:

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Many binary phenotypes do not follow a classical Mendelian inheritance pattern. Interaction between genetic and environmental factors is thought to contribute to the incomplete penetrance phenomena often observed in these complex binary traits. Several two-locus models for penetrance have been proposed to aid the genetic dissection of binary traits. Such models assume linear genetic effects of both loci in different mathematical scales of penetrance, resembling the analytical framework of quantitative traits. However, changes in phenotypic scale are difficult to envisage in binary traits and limited genetic interpretation is extractable from current modeling of penetrance. To overcome this limitation, we derived an allelic penetrance approach that attributes incomplete penetrance to the stochastic expression of the alleles controlling the phenotype, the genetic background and environmental factors. We applied this approach to formulate dominance and recessiveness in a single diallelic locus and to model different genetic mechanisms for the joint action of two diallelic loci. We fit the models to data on the genetic susceptibility of mice following infections with Listeria monocytogenes and Plasmodium berghei. These models gain in genetic interpretation, because they specify the alleles that are responsible for the genetic (inter)action and their genetic nature (dominant or recessive), and predict genotypic combinations determining the phenotype. Further, we show via computer simulations that the proposed models produce penetrance patterns not captured by traditional two-locus models. This approach provides a new analysis framework for dissecting mechanisms of interlocus joint action in binary traits using genetic crosses.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Immunology and Infection
PubMed ID: 17551528
Web of Science ID: 248301900008


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