What are some examples of human traits that are genetically linked and how can these genes be mapped?
Linked genes are genes that are located on the same chromosome. The alleles for these genes are usually segregated together during meiosis, unless they become separated during crossing over. The closer the genes are on a chromosome, the less likely their alleles will be separated from crossing over. Genetic linkage explains why certain traits are frequently inherited together.
One common example of this phenomenon is eye color and hair color. This is why people with brown hair typically have brown eyes, and people with blonde hair typically have blue eyes.
What are some other traits in human that seem to be genetically linked? And how can this linkage be mapped?
The gene TCF7L2 was identified as associated with type 2 diabetes in a linkage study.
Genetic linkage refers to genes and other genetic markers generally being inherited together because of their location on the same chromosome. Type 2 diabetes is a well-known disease that has largely affected a large percentage of the United States population as the obesity rate and other health-related problems continue to rise. Through linkage analysis, researchers were able to identify diabetes risk genes. These studies revealed that two genes, CAPN10 and TCF7L2, were discovered by linkage analysis. While the link between gene CAPN10 and type 2 diabetes is still unclear, the link between gene TCF7L2 and type two diabetes appeared significantly stronger. Specifically, the TCF7L2 gene was genetically mapped in different populations worldwide: the Mexican-American population, Icelandic population, Danish cohorts, and the United States population. Because this specific gene (TCF7L2) linkage was found across multiple ethnic groups, this gene is identified as the most type 2 diabetes risk gene.
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