The Use of Polymorphic Markers to Detect Genetic Variability

  • Robert C. Elston
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 43)


In non-experimental organisms, such as humans, it is not an easy matter to demonstrate unequivocally that a genetic component is involved in the determination of a trait. Estimates of heritability are based on familial correlations on the assumption that non-genetic correlations between pairs of relatives can be allowed for statistically. There have been many recent advances in segregation analysis to detect single-gene effects, but it is still difficult to be certain that any apparent segregation is in fact due to an underlying genetic mechanism (Elston, 1986). The basic problem is that in general we cannot infer causal mechanisms from observational data (Kempthorne, 1978). However, the availability of polymorphic genetic markers allows us to circumvent this difficulty to a certain extent.


Marker Locus Polymorphic Marker Marker Information Partial Regression Coefficient Disease Trait 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert C. Elston
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biometry and GeneticsLouisiana State University Medical CenterNew OrleansUSA

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