Pedigree data are useful for a wealth of research purposes in human population biology and genetics. The collection of extended pedigrees represents the most powerful sampling design for quantitative genetic and linkage studies of both normal and disease-related quantitative traits. In this paper we outline an approach for collecting pedigree data in stable isolate populations. As an example, the pedigree for the Jirel population, which was obtained using the methods presented, is described. The Jirel pedigree contains 2,000 study participants and more than 62,000 pairwise relationships that are informative for genetic analysis. Once such pedigrees are genetically characterized by a genome scan for a given trait, they become an invaluable resource for future genetic studies of any quantitative trait.
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Vol. 78 • No. 1