The Haseman-Elston method is widely used for the mapping of quantitative-trait loci. However, this method does not use all the information in the data, because it only considers the sib-pair trait-value difference. In addition, the Haseman-Elston method was developed for independent sib pairs; its generalization to nonindependent sib pairs is not straightforward. Here we introduce a score test statistic derived from a normal likelihood based on multiplex sibship data, conditional on identical-by-descent sharing statuses. This score test is asymptotically equivalent to the corresponding likelihood-ratio test, but it is much easier to implement. Because the proposed test uses all of the trait values, it makes more efficient use of the data than does the Haseman-Elston method. The proposed test is naturally applicable to sibships of arbitrary size. The finite-sample properties of the proposed score statistic are evaluated via simulations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas