An incomplete enumeration algorithm for an exact test of Hardy–Weinberg proportions with multiple alleles

Abstract

Testing of Hardy–Weinberg proportions (HWP) with asymptotic goodness-of-fit tests is problematic when the contingency table of observed genotype counts has sparse cells or the sample size is low, and exact procedures are to be preferred. Exact p-values can be (1) calculated via computational demanding enumeration methods or (2) approximated via simulation methods. Our objective was to develop a new algorithm for exact tests of HWP with multiple alleles on the basis of conditional probabilities of genotype arrays, which is faster than existing algorithms. We derived an algorithm for calculating the exact permutation significance value without enumerating all genotype arrays having the same allele counts as the observed one. The algorithm can be used for testing HWP by (1) summation of the conditional probabilities of occurrence of genotype arrays with smaller probability than the observed one, and (2) comparison of the sum with a nominal Type I error rate α. Application to published experimental data from seven maize populations showed that the exact test is computationally feasible and reduces the number of enumerated genotype count matrices about 30% compared with previously published algorithms.

DOI: 10.1007/s00122-007-0573-6

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Cite this paper

@article{Maurer2007AnIE, title={An incomplete enumeration algorithm for an exact test of Hardy–Weinberg proportions with multiple alleles}, author={Hans Peter Maurer and Albrecht E Melchinger and Matthias Frisch}, journal={Theoretical and Applied Genetics}, year={2007}, volume={115}, pages={393-398} }