Do molecular markers inform about pleiotropy?

Daniel Gianola, Gustavo de los Campos, Miguel A. Toro, Hugo Naya, Chris Carolin Schön, Daniel Sorensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The availability of dense panels of common slngle-nucleotlde polymorphisms and sequence variants has facilitated the study of statistical features of the genetic architecture of complex traits and diseases via whole-genome regressions (WGRs). At the onset, traits were analyzed trait by trait, but recently, WGRs have been extended for analysis of several traits jointly. The expectation is that such an approach would offer insight into mechanisms that cause trait associations, such as pleiotropy. We demonstrate that correlation parameters inferred using markers can give a distorted picture of the genetic correlation between traits. In the absence of knowledge of linkage disequilibrium relationships between quantitative or disease trait loci and markers, speculating about genetic correlation and its causes (e.g., pleiotropy) using genomic data is conjectural.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-29
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2015


  • Genetic correlation
  • Genomic correlation
  • Genomic heritability
  • Linkage disequilibrium
  • Pleiotropy


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