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This article is part of the supplement: Genetic Analysis Workshop 17: Unraveling Human Exome Data

Open Access Proceedings

Distance-based phenotypic association analysis of DNA sequence data

Doyoung Chung*, Qunyuan Zhang, Aldi T Kraja, Ingrid B Borecki and Michael A Province

Author Affiliations

Division of Statistical Genomics, Department of Genetics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA

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BMC Proceedings 2011, 5(Suppl 9):S54  doi:10.1186/1753-6561-5-S9-S54

Published: 29 November 2011


As the cost of sequencing decreases, the demand for association tests that use exhaustive DNA sequence information increases. One such association test is multivariate distance matrix regression (MDMR). We explore some of the features of MDMR using Genetic Analysis Workshop 17 simulated data in search of potential improvements in distance measures. We used genotype data from 697 unrelated individuals, in 200 replications, to test the power of MDMR to detect 13 trait Q2 causative genes based on the Euclidean distance metric. We also estimated the false-positive rate of MDMR using 508 control genes. In addition, we compared MDMR with Mantel’s test and collapsing analysis for rare variants. MDMR performed comparably well even with the Euclidean distance measure.