Estimation of linkage disequilibrium in a sample of the United Kingdom dairy cattle population using unphased genotypes

A Tenesa, S A Knott, D Ward, D Smith, J L Williams, P M Visscher

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The association between genetic marker alleles was estimated for two regions of the bovine genome from a random sample of 50 young dairy bulls born in the United Kingdom between 1988 and 1995. Microsatellite marker genotypes were obtained for six markers on chromosome 2 and seven markers on chromosome 6, spanning 38 and 20 cM, respectively. Two different methods, which do not require family information, were used to estimate population haplotype frequencies. Haplotype frequencies were estimated for pairs of loci using the expectation-maximization algorithm and for all linked loci using a Bayesian approach via a Markov chain-Monte Carlo algorithm. Significant (P = 0.0007) linkage disequilibrium was detected between pairs of loci in syntenic groups (that is, loci in the same linkage group), extending to about 10 cM. No significant linkage disequilibrium was detected between markers in nonsyntenic regions. Given the observed level of linkage disequilibrium, mapping methods based on population-wide association might provide a better resolution than traditional quantitative trait loci mapping methods in the U.K. dairy cattle population and may reduce the required sample sizes of the experiments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-23
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2003


  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Cattle
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Computational Biology
  • Female
  • Great Britain
  • Haplotypes
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Linkage Disequilibrium
  • Male
  • Microsatellite Repeats
  • Models, Genetic
  • Models, Statistical
  • Random Allocation

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