GENEHUNTER versus SimWalk2 in the context of an extended kindred and a qualitative trait locus
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GENEHUNTER and SimWalk2 are among the most commonly used software for parametric multipoint linkage analysis. In the context of extended kindred analysis, GENEHUNTER has a limitation in terms of the number of individuals it can handle. One solution is to manually split the kindred into smaller pedigrees. SimWalk2 can handle a much larger number of individuals. However, its major drawback is the time it takes to process the data when compared to GENEHUNTER. Aside from the limitations of each program, when studying extended kindreds researchers are typically confronted with missing data. In this work we used simulated genotype data based on the structure of a real extended pedigree in order to compare the results obtained through GENEHUNTER and SimWalk2, evaluate the effect of discarding individuals and splitting the kindred on the logarithm of odds (lod) score, and to assess how missing data affect the performance of each program. Our results show that (1) for pedigrees of a moderate size, GENEHUNTER and SimWalk2 produce nearly the same results; (2) when using GENEHUNTER, either splitting the kindred into smaller sub-pedigrees or discarding individuals has an adverse effect when compared to the results obtained when using SimWalk2 with the whole pedigree; and (3) the performance of both programs is qualitatively similar in the missing data scenario. These conclusions are based on the sample distributions of the lod score values and of the estimates of the recombination fraction.
Keywordslinkage analysis linkage software lod score multigenerational extended kindred pedigree recombination fraction
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