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Queensland Brain Institute researcher uses CQUniversity's HPC facility to assist with their research

The paper ‘Simultaneous Discovery, Estimation and Prediction Analysis of Complex Traits Using a Bayesian Mixture Model’ by Gerhard Moser from Queensland Brain Institute (QBI),  was published on April 7, 2015.  This research was made possible through the support of CQUniversity's eResearch and by using CQUniversity’s High Performance Computing facility (www.cqu.edu.au/hpc).

The paper ‘Simultaneous Discovery, Estimation and Prediction Analysis of Complex Traits Using a Bayesian Mixture Model’ by Gerhard Moser from Queensland Brain Institute (QBI),  was published on April 7, 2015.  This research was made possible through the support of CQUniversity's eResearch and by using CQUniversity’s High Performance Computing facility (www.cqu.edu.au/hpc).

A brief overview of the publication can be found below and a link to the article can be found at http://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.1004969.

Abstract

Gene discovery, estimation of heritability captured by SNP arrays, inference on genetic architecture and prediction analyses of complex traits are usually performed using different statistical models and methods, leading to inefficiency and loss of power. Here we use a Bayesian mixture model that simultaneously allows variant discovery, estimation of genetic variance explained by all variants and prediction of unobserved phenotypes in new samples. We apply the method to simulated data of quantitative traits and Welcome Trust Case Control Consortium (WTCCC) data on disease and show that it provides accurate estimates of SNP-based heritability, produces unbiased estimators of risk in new samples, and that it can estimate genetic architecture by partitioning variation across hundreds to thousands of SNPs. We estimated that, depending on the trait, 2,633 to 9,411 SNPs explain all of the SNP-based heritability in the WTCCC diseases. The majority of those SNPs (>96%) had small effects, confirming a substantial polygenic component to common diseases. The proportion of the SNP-based variance explained by large effects (each SNP explaining 1% of the variance) varied markedly between diseases, ranging from almost zero for bipolar disorder to 72% for type 1 diabetes. Prediction analyses demonstrate that for diseases with major loci, such as type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, Bayesian methods outperform profile scoring or mixed model approaches.

Author Summary

Most genome-wide association studies performed to date have focused on testing individual genetic markers for associations with phenotype. Recently, methods that analyse the joint effects of multiple markers on genetic variation have provided further insights into the genetic basis of complex human traits. In addition, there is increasing interest in using genotype data for genetic risk prediction of disease. Often disparate analytical methods are used for each of these tasks. We propose a flexible novel approach that simultaneously performs identification of susceptibility loci, inference on the genetic architecture and provides polygenic risk prediction in the same statistical model. We illustrate the broad applicability of the approach by considering both simulated and real data. In the analysis of seven common diseases we show large differences in the proportion of genetic variation due to loci with different effect sizes and differences in prediction accuracy between complex traits. These findings are important for future studies and the understanding of the complex genetic architecture of common

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