DOI: 10.1002/gepi.22534 ISSN:

Statistical methods to detect mother–father genetic interaction effects on risk of infertility: A genome‐wide approach

Siri N. Skodvin, Håkon K. Gjessing, Astanand Jugessur, Julia Romanowska, Christian M. Page, Elizabeth C. Corfield, Yunsung Lee, Siri E. Håberg, Miriam Gjerdevik
  • Genetics (clinical)
  • Epidemiology


Infertility is a heterogeneous phenotype, and for many couples, the causes of fertility problems remain unknown. One understudied hypothesis is that allelic interactions between the genotypes of the two parents may influence the risk of infertility. Our aim was, therefore, to investigate how allelic interactions can be modeled using parental genotype data linked to 15,789 pregnancies selected from the Norwegian Mother, Father, and Child Cohort Study. The newborns in 1304 of these pregnancies were conceived using assisted reproductive technologies (ART), and the remainder were conceived naturally. Treating the use of ART as a proxy for infertility, different parameterizations were implemented in a genome‐wide screen for interaction effects between maternal and paternal alleles at the same locus. Some of the models were more similar in the way they were parameterized, and some produced similar results when implemented on a genome‐wide scale. The results showed near‐significant interaction effects in genes relevant to the phenotype under study, such as Dynein axonemal heavy chain 17 (DNAH17) with a recognized role in male infertility. More generally, the interaction models presented here are readily adaptable to the study of other phenotypes in which maternal and paternal allelic interactions are likely to be involved.

More from our Archive