Inferring Identical-by-Descent Sharing of Sample Ancestors Promotes High-Resolution Relative Detection

Monica D. Ramstetter, Sushila A. Shenoy, Thomas D. Dyer, Donna M. Lehman, Joanne E Curran, Ravindranath Duggirala, John C Blangero, Jason G. Mezey, Amy L. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


As genetic datasets increase in size, the fraction of samples with one or more close relatives grows rapidly, resulting in sets of mutually related individuals. We present DRUID—deep relatedness utilizing identity by descent—a method that works by inferring the identical-by-descent (IBD) sharing profile of an ungenotyped ancestor of a set of close relatives. Using this IBD profile, DRUID infers relatedness between unobserved ancestors and more distant relatives, thereby combining information from multiple samples to remove one or more generations between the deep relationships to be identified. DRUID constructs sets of close relatives by detecting full siblings and also uses an approach to identify the aunts/uncles of two or more siblings, recovering 92.2% of real aunts/uncles with zero false positives. In real and simulated data, DRUID correctly infers up to 10.5% more relatives than PADRE when using data from two sets of distantly related siblings, and 10.7%–31.3% more relatives given two sets of siblings and their aunts/uncles. DRUID frequently infers relationships either correctly or within one degree of the truth, with PADRE classifying 43.3%–58.3% of tenth degree relatives in this way compared to 79.6%–96.7% using DRUID.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-44
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Genetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 5 2018


  • cryptic relatedness
  • identical by descent
  • pedigree reconstruction
  • relationship inference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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