Another round of “clue” to uncover the mystery of complex traits

Shefali Setia Verma, Marylyn D. Ritchie

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


A plethora of genetic association analyses have identified several genetic risk loci. Technological and statistical advancements have now led to the identification of not only common genetic variants, but also low-frequency variants, structural variants, and environmental factors, as well as multi-omics variations that affect the phenotypic variance of complex traits in a population, thus referred to as complex trait architecture. The concept of heritability, or the proportion of phenotypic variance due to genetic inheritance, has been studied for several decades, but its application is mainly in addressing the narrow sense heritability (or additive genetic component) from Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS). In this commentary, we reflect on our perspective on the complexity of understanding heritability for human traits in comparison to model organisms, highlighting another round of clues beyond GWAS and an alternative approach, investigating these clues comprehensively to help in elucidating the genetic architecture of complex traits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number61
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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