Causal Gene Network Inference from Genetical Genomics Experiments via Structural Equation Modeling
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In genetical genomics, a segregating population is expression profiled and DNA marker genotyped. An Encompassing Directed Network (EDN) of causal regulatory relationships among genes can be constructed with eQTL mapping and selection of candidate causal regulators. Several eQTL mapping approaches and local structural models were evaluated in their ability to construct an EDN. The edges in an EDN correspond to either direct or indirect causal relationships, and the EDN is likely to contain cycles or feedback loops. We implemented SEM with genetics algorithms to produce sub-models of the EDN containing fewer edges and being well supported by the data. The EDN construction and sparsification methods were tested on a yeast genetical genomics data set, as well as the simulated data. For the simulated networks, the SEM approach has an average detection power of around ninety percent, and an average false discovery rate of around ten percent.
- Doctoral Dissertations