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Animal Breeding and Genetics
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2005;18(8): 1088-1097.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2005.1088    Published online November 29, 2005.
Complex Segregation Analysis of Categorical Traits in Farm Animals: Comparison of Linear and Threshold Models
H. N. Kadarmideen, H. Ilahi
Main objectives of this study were to investigate accuracy, bias and power of linear and threshold model segregation analysis methods for detection of major genes in categorical traits in farm animals. Maximum Likelihood Linear Model (MLLM), Bayesian Linear Model (BALM) and Bayesian Threshold Model (BATM) were applied to simulated data on normal, categorical and binary scales as well as to disease data in pigs. Simulated data on the underlying normally distributed liability (NDL) were used to create categorical and binary data. MLLM method was applied to data on all scales (Normal, categorical and binary) and BATM method was developed and applied only to binary data. The MLLM analyses underestimated parameters for binary as well as categorical traits compared to normal traits; with the bias being very severe for binary traits. The accuracy of major gene and polygene parameter estimates was also very low for binary data compared with those for categorical data; the later gave results similar to normal data. When disease incidence (on binary scale) is close to 50%, segregation analysis has more accuracy and lesser bias, compared to diseases with rare incidences. NDL data were always better than categorical data. Under the MLLM method, the test statistics for categorical and binary data were consistently unusually very high (while the opposite is expected due to loss of information in categorical data), indicating high false discovery rates of major genes if linear models are applied to categorical traits. With Bayesian segregation analysis, 95% highest probability density regions of major gene variances were checked if they included the value of zero (boundary parameter); by nature of this difference between likelihood and Bayesian approaches, the Bayesian methods are likely to be more reliable for categorical data. The BATM segregation analysis of binary data also showed a significant advantage over MLLM in terms of higher accuracy. Based on the results, threshold models are recommended when the trait distributions are discontinuous. Further, segregation analysis could be used in an initial scan of the data for evidence of major genes before embarking on molecular genome mapping.
Keywords: Major Gene; Segregation Analysis; Linear and Threshold Models; Maximum Likelihood; Bayesian Method; Pigs

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