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      Common SNPs explain a large proportion of the heritability for human height

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          Abstract

          SNPs discovered by genome-wide association studies (GWASs) account for only a small fraction of the genetic variation of complex traits in human populations. Where is the remaining heritability? We estimated the proportion of variance for human height explained by 294,831 SNPs genotyped on 3,925 unrelated individuals using a linear model analysis, and validated the estimation method with simulations based on the observed genotype data. We show that 45% of variance can be explained by considering all SNPs simultaneously. Thus, most of the heritability is not missing but has not previously been detected because the individual effects are too small to pass stringent significance tests. We provide evidence that the remaining heritability is due to incomplete linkage disequilibrium between causal variants and genotyped SNPs, exacerbated by causal variants having lower minor allele frequency than the SNPs explored to date.

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          Most cited references 15

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          Recovery of inter-block information when block sizes are unequal

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            Mapping genes for complex traits in domestic animals and their use in breeding programmes.

            Genome-wide panels of SNPs have recently been used in domestic animal species to map and identify genes for many traits and to select genetically desirable livestock. This has led to the discovery of the causal genes and mutations for several single-gene traits but not for complex traits. However, the genetic merit of animals can still be estimated by genomic selection, which uses genome-wide SNP panels as markers and statistical methods that capture the effects of large numbers of SNPs simultaneously. This approach is expected to double the rate of genetic improvement per year in many livestock systems.
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              Many sequence variants affecting diversity of adult human height.

              Adult human height is one of the classical complex human traits. We searched for sequence variants that affect height by scanning the genomes of 25,174 Icelanders, 2,876 Dutch, 1,770 European Americans and 1,148 African Americans. We then combined these results with previously published results from the Diabetes Genetics Initiative on 3,024 Scandinavians and tested a selected subset of SNPs in 5,517 Danes. We identified 27 regions of the genome with one or more sequence variants showing significant association with height. The estimated effects per allele of these variants ranged between 0.3 and 0.6 cm and, taken together, they explain around 3.7% of the population variation in height. The genes neighboring the identified loci cluster in biological processes related to skeletal development and mitosis. Association to three previously reported loci are replicated in our analyses, and the strongest association was with SNPs in the ZBTB38 gene.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Genetics
                Nat Genet
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                1061-4036
                1546-1718
                July 2010
                June 20 2010
                July 2010
                : 42
                : 7
                : 565-569
                Article
                10.1038/ng.608
                3232052
                20562875
                fd629983-a039-4806-9c9b-07bfd7155ac2
                © 2010

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