Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Improved statistical tools reveal many linked loci

26.07.2005


High-throughput genotyping and expression profiling of a recombinant strain of yeast. (Photo: Storey et al.)


An innovative new statistical method, described in the open-access journal PLoS Biology, streamlines the computation required to identify all the potential locations in the genome that influence a particular physical trait, or phenotype. Thanks to the new method developed by John Storey, Joshua M. Akey, and Leonid Kruglyak, researchers have a more efficient genome-mining technique to help them identify all the genomic elements that produce specific traits. In brewer’s yeast alone, Storey and colleagues found that 37% of gene expression traits link to two loci, or positions in the genome.

"We were interested in being able to find combinations of genes that affect the phenotype," says Kruglyak. "It’s generally thought that most traits of interest have a complex underlying genetic basis, but it’s generally been pretty difficult to get at those." Typically, researchers might be able to find only one of the genetic factors, even though more than one genetic location contributes to the observed trait, such as blood pressure or cell growth.

The new statistical method bypasses the previously overwhelming computations needed to puzzle together the myriad elements that influence gene expression throughout an entire genome. And unlike earlier approaches to understanding how multiple loci interact, the new technique can distinguish between a group of genes with a linked subset and a group of genes with "joint linkage," where each gene site links to another.



"In some ways, it looks like you’re complicating a problem because you’re looking at thousands of genes instead of one trait," says Kruglyak. In reality, the method creates statistical conclusions that are more precise, he explains, because you’re using so much data.

Storey et al. compared their method to another statistical method, called two-dimensional linkage analysis, which tests for linkage between all pairs of a large set of genomic marker sites. The authors found that two-dimensional analysis is not only more computationally demanding than their new method, but also generates ambiguous results because it can be difficult to distinguish whether one or both of the loci being tested are responsible for altered expression levels. This problem grows exponentially with each added test site. This approach also failed to reveal that hierarchical relationships between two genomic locations control about one in seven yeast expression traits¡Xwhich Storey et al. discovered using their method.

Although the group studied yeast, their method can be applied to more complex organisms to search for even larger numbers of linked loci and to provide insights into the many interlocking pathways that make up the gene regulatory network.

Paul Ocampo | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.plosbiology.org
http://www.plos.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>