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This article is part of the supplement: Genetic Analysis Workshop 16

Open Access Open Badges Proceedings

Genome-wide discovery of maternal effect variants

Jack W Kent*, Charles P Peterson, Thomas D Dyer, Laura Almasy and John Blangero

Author Affiliations

Department of Genetics, Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, 7620 NW Loop 410, San Antonio, TX 78227, USA

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BMC Proceedings 2009, 3(Suppl 7):S19  doi:

Published: 15 December 2009


Many phenotypes may be influenced by the prenatal environment of the mother and/or maternal care, and these maternal effects may have a heritable component. We have implemented in the computer program SOLAR a variance components-based method for detecting indirect effects of maternal genotype on offspring phenotype. Of six phenotypes measured in three generations of the Framingham Heart Study, height showed the strongest evidence (P = 0.02) of maternal effect. We conducted a genome-wide association analysis for height, testing both the direct effect of the focal individual's genotype and the indirect effect of the maternal genotype. Offspring height showed suggestive evidence of association with maternal genotype for two single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the trafficking protein particle complex 9 gene TRAPPC9 (NIBP), which plays a role in neuronal NF-κB signalling. This work establishes a methodological framework for identifying genetic variants that may influence the contribution of the maternal environment to offspring phenotypes.