While genetic dominance — defined as any deviation from a purely additive, or dosage, effect of a genotype on a trait — is well-documented in plant and animal breeding, its existence in humans is limited aside from rare monogenic traits. In a new study, researchers from the Broad Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital analyzed common genetic variation across roughly 1,000 traits, including a number related to human disease, across more than 361,000 participants in the UK Biobank. As they report this week in Science, they then developed a computational method to rapidly estimate the dominance contribution to phenotypic variance across thousands of phenotypes. Overall, the investigators find a modest number of individually significant loci and broadly confirm that heritability explained by dominance is small, matching the findings of previous analyses.
New Study Examines Genetic Dominance Within UK Biobank
Mar 31, 2023