Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Genetics Selection Evolution and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research

Identification of Mendelian inconsistencies between SNP and pedigree information of sibs

Mario PL Calus1*, Han A Mulder1 and John WM Bastiaansen2

Author Affiliations

1 Animal Breeding and Genomics Centre, Wageningen UR Livestock Research, 8200 AB Lelystad, The Netherlands

2 Animal Breeding and Genomics Centre, Wageningen University, 6709 PG Wageningen, The Netherlands

For all author emails, please log on.

Genetics Selection Evolution 2011, 43:34  doi:10.1186/1297-9686-43-34

Published: 11 October 2011



Using SNP genotypes to apply genomic selection in breeding programs is becoming common practice. Tools to edit and check the quality of genotype data are required. Checking for Mendelian inconsistencies makes it possible to identify animals for which pedigree information and genotype information are not in agreement.


Straightforward tests to detect Mendelian inconsistencies exist that count the number of opposing homozygous marker (e.g. SNP) genotypes between parent and offspring (PAR-OFF). Here, we develop two tests to identify Mendelian inconsistencies between sibs. The first test counts SNP with opposing homozygous genotypes between sib pairs (SIBCOUNT). The second test compares pedigree and SNP-based relationships (SIBREL). All tests iteratively remove animals based on decreasing numbers of inconsistent parents and offspring or sibs. The PAR-OFF test, followed by either SIB test, was applied to a dataset comprising 2,078 genotyped cows and 211 genotyped sires. Theoretical expectations for distributions of test statistics of all three tests were calculated and compared to empirically derived values. Type I and II error rates were calculated after applying the tests to the edited data, while Mendelian inconsistencies were introduced by permuting pedigree against genotype data for various proportions of animals.


Both SIB tests identified animal pairs for which pedigree and genomic relationships could be considered as inconsistent by visual inspection of a scatter plot of pairwise pedigree and SNP-based relationships. After removal of 235 animals with the PAR-OFF test, SIBCOUNT (SIBREL) identified 18 (22) additional inconsistent animals.

Seventeen animals were identified by both methods. The numbers of incorrectly deleted animals (Type I error), were equally low for both methods, while the numbers of incorrectly non-deleted animals (Type II error), were considerably higher for SIBREL compared to SIBCOUNT.


Tests to remove Mendelian inconsistencies between sibs should be preceded by a test for parent-offspring inconsistencies. This parent-offspring test should not only consider parent-offspring pairs based on pedigree data, but also those based on SNP information. Both SIB tests could identify pairs of sibs with Mendelian inconsistencies. Based on type I and II error rates, counting opposing homozygotes between sibs (SIBCOUNT) appears slightly more precise than comparing genomic and pedigree relationships (SIBREL) to detect Mendelian inconsistencies between sibs.