Genome-Wide Estimation of Linkage Disequilibrium from Population-Level High-Throughput Sequencing Data
Takahiro Maruki, Michael Lynch


Rapidly improving sequencing technologies provide unprecedented opportunities for analyzing genome-wide patterns of polymorphisms. In particular, they have great potential for linkage-disequilibrium analyses on both global and local genetic scales, which will substantially improve our ability to derive evolutionary inferences. However, there are some difficulties with analyzing high-throughput sequencing data, including high error rates associated with base reads and complications from the random sampling of sequenced chromosomes in diploid organisms. To overcome these difficulties, we developed a maximum-likelihood estimator of linkage disequilibrium for use with error-prone sampling data. Computer simulations indicate that the estimator is nearly unbiased with a sampling variance at high coverage asymptotically approaching the value expected when all relevant information is accurately estimated. The estimator does not require phasing of haplotypes and enables the estimation of linkage disequilibrium even when all individual reads cover just single polymorphic sites.

  • Received April 18, 2014.
  • Accepted May 20, 2014.