Accurate estimation of genetic correlation requires large sample sizes and access to genetically informative data, which are not always available. Accordingly, phenotypic correlations are often assumed to reflect genotypic correlations in evolutionary biology. Cheverud’s conjecture asserts that the use of phenotypic correlations as proxies for genetic correlations is appropriate. Empirical evidence of the conjecture has been found across plant and animal species, with results suggesting that there is indeed a robust relationship between the two. Here, we investigate the conjecture in human populations, an analysis made possible by recent developments in availability of human genomic data and computing resources. A sample of 108,035 British European individuals from the UK Biobank was split equally into discovery and replication datasets. 17 traits were selected based on sample size, distribution and heritability. Genetic correlations were calculated using linkage disequilibrium score regression applied to the genome-wide association summary statistics of pairs of traits, and compared within and across datasets. Strong and significant correlations were found for the between-dataset comparison, suggesting that the genetic correlations from one independent sample were able to predict the phenotypic correlations from another independent sample within the same population. Designating the selected traits as morphological or non-morphological indicated little difference in correlation. The results of this study support the existence of a relationship between genetic and phenotypic correlations in humans. This finding is of specific interest in anthropological studies, which use measured phenotypic correlations to make inferences about the genetics of ancient human populations.
- Downloaded 607 times
- Download rankings, all-time:
- Site-wide: 26,076 out of 94,912
- In genetics: 1,587 out of 4,824
- Year to date:
- Site-wide: 65,846 out of 94,912
- Since beginning of last month:
- Site-wide: 68,242 out of 94,912
Downloads over time
Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide
- 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
- 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
- 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
- 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
- 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
- 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
- 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
- 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!