Partitioning Phenotypic Variance Due to Parent-of-Origin Effects Using Genomic Relatedness Matrices

Charles Laurin, Gabriel Cuellar-Partida, Gibran Hemani, George Davey Smith, Jian Yang, David Evans*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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We propose a new method, G-REMLadp, to estimate the phenotypic variance explained by parent-of-origin effects (POEs) across the genome. Our method uses restricted maximum likelihood analysis of genome-wide genetic relatedness matrices based on individuals’ phased genotypes. Genome-wide SNP data from parent child duos or trios is required to obtain relatedness matrices indexing the parental origin of offspring alleles, as well as offspring phenotype data to partition the trait variation into variance components. To calibrate the power of G-REMLadp to detect non-null POEs when they are present, we provide an analytic approximation derived from Haseman-Elston regression. We also used simulated data to quantify the power and Type I Error rates of G-REMLadp, as well as the sensitivity of its variance component estimates to violations of underlying assumptions. We subsequently applied G-REMLadp to 36 phenotypes in a sample of individuals from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). We found that the method does not seem to be inherently biased in estimating variance due to POEs, and that substantial correlation between parental genotypes is necessary to generate biased estimates. Our empirical results, power calculations and simulations indicate that sample sizes over 10000 unrelated parent-offspring duos will be necessary to detect POEs explaining < 10% of the variance with moderate power. We conclude that POEs tagged by our genetic relationship matrices are unlikely to explain large proportions of the phenotypic variance (i.e. > 15%) for the 36 traits that we have examined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-79
Number of pages13
JournalBehavior Genetics
Issue number1
Early online date2 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Imprinting
  • Parent-of-origin effects
  • G-REML
  • GCTA


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  • MRC UoB UNITE Unit - Programme 1

    Davey Smith, G.


    Project: Research

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