Decomposing Multilocus Linkage Disequilibrium

Root Gorelick, Manfred Laubichler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


We present a mathematically precise formulation of total linkage disequilibrium between multiple loci as the deviation from probabilistic independence and provide explicit formulas for all higher-order terms of linkage disequilibrium, thereby combining J. Dausset et al.'s 1978 definition of linkage disequilibrium with H. Geiringer's 1944 approach. We recursively decompose higher-order linkage disequilibrium terms into lower-order ones. Our greatest simplification comes from defining linkage disequilibrium at a single locus as allele frequency at that locus. At each level, decomposition of linkage disequilibrium is mathematically equivalent to number theoretic compositions of positive integers; i.e., we have converted a genetic decomposition into a mathematical decomposition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1581-1583
Number of pages3
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

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