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Open Access Method

Weighting by heritability for detection of quantitative trait loci with microarray estimates of gene expression

Kenneth F Manly123*, Jintao Wang2 and Robert W Williams2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pathology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, 855 Monroe Avenue, Memphis, TN 38163, USA

2 Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Center of Excellence in Genomics and Bioinformatics, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, 855 Monroe Avenue, Memphis, TN 38163, USA

3 Department of Biostatistics, 246 Farber Hall, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA

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Genome Biology 2005, 6:R27  doi:10.1186/gb-2005-6-3-r27

Published: 28 February 2005

Abstract

Heritable differences in transcribed RNA levels can be mapped as quantitative trait loci (QTLs). Transcribed RNA levels are often measured by hybridization to microarrays of oligonucleotide probes, in which each transcript is represented by multiple probes. The use of recombinant inbred lines allows an estimate of the heritability of expression measured by individual probes. This heritability varies greatly. We have tested heritability-weighted averages to define expression of a transcript and found that these allow detection of more QTLs than previously described methods.