GENEHUNTER

Efficient Multipoint Linkage Analysis through Reduction of Inheritance Space. Computational constraints currently limit exact multipoint linkage analysis to pedigrees of moderate size. We introduce new algorithms that allow analysis of larger pedigrees by reducing the time and memory requirements of the computation. We use the observed pedigree genotypes to reduce the number of inheritance patterns that need to be considered. The algorithms are implemented in a new version (version 2.1) of the software package GENEHUNTER. Performance gains depend on marker heterozygosity and on the number of pedigree members available for genotyping, but typically are 10–1,000-fold, compared with the performance of the previous release (version 2.0). As a result, families with up to 30 bits of inheritance information have been analyzed, and further increases in family size are feasible. In addition to computation of linkage statistics and haplotype determination, GENEHUNTER can also perform single-locus and multilocus transmission/disequilibrium tests. We describe and implement a set of permutation tests that allow determination of empirical significance levels in the presence of linkage disequilibrium among marker loci.