GeneTree is finally being released for distribution. We have finally
gotten a semi-reasonable agreement on a royaly agreement with the company
which produced the driver used internally by the program to do the graphics
needed to print pedigrees. As a result, GeneTree will be available at
cost to non-profit and educational institutions for $125, which covers the
cost of the license for the commercial graphics driver, manuals, diskettes,
A description of GeneTree and its history are below.
The GeneTree 1.0 package provides a convenient way to draw family
tree diagrams suitable for genetics or geneology using an IBM PC or
compatible computer. The package consists of the GeneTree program, which
draws pedigree diagrams using a command language, and SC, a menu-driven
program that facilitates creation of GeneTree commands. GeneTree and SC
are made available with program manuals, examples of family tree diagrams,
and a GeneTree Quick Reference Guide. GeneTree is written in the C
programming language. Note that it is a DRAWING program and does not
compute genetic parameters.
Technical requirements: an IBM PC or compatible with 512K or more of
memory, and a hard disk with at least 500K unused space, and
DOS 3.0 or greater.
Salient features of the program are:
1) PEDIGREE DISPLAY: Produces standard pedigree display used in human
genetics, using standard symbols, with user control over
arrangement and display of the pedigree, symbol size, and
placement of text and numeric data around pedigree symbols.
Over 30 shading patterns, with full or split symbol shading.
2) SPECIAL PEDIGREE CAPABILITIES: Handles within-generation inbreeding
loops without the need for "doubling" a person for drawing
complex pedigrees, can display multiple marriages and marriages
with no offspring, can draw individuals with only one parent
in the pedigree (dummy parents are not necessary), and will draw
large pedigrees on multiple pages
3) SIMPLE COMMAND LANGUAGE: Draft pedigrees can be drawn using only
three commands, and GeneTree will automatically scale diagrams
4) BATCH OR INTERACTIVE MODE: Operates in either batch or interactive
mode, flexible and simple input file structure, can be combined
with existing database management of data collection software
5) CURRENT LIMITS: Current maximum pedigree size is about 130 individuals.
Maximum number of text and/or number fields around any one
pedigree symbol is 25, with a maximum of 256 characters.
History of GeneTree is as follows. Robert Hodges wrote the program
while he was the system manager for the Alzheimer's disease research
center at the University of Washington, partly because of dissatisfaction
with what was available for investigators who were doing genetic analyses.
In particular, there was nothing at the time at low cost or no cost which
could easily interface with the kinds of databases collected in the context
of genetic analysis, and which could be used in the context of a variety
of analyses to draw pedigrees of varying size and complexity during
different stages of the analyses.
In order to make it possible to print pedigrees on a variety of
printers/plotters, Robert decided to use a commercial driver package.
This allows pedigrees to be printed on most if not all printers
which are compatible with IBM PCs. The side effect of the use of the
driver package, however, is that if we distribute the package, we must
pay royalties on the driver. This is why it has taken so long to
distribute the program; negotiating lower royalties and coming up with a
mechanism to collect royalties was not easy!
I have found the program to be extremely useful in my work, which
requires examining genetic marker data on pedigrees, constructing
haplotypes for multi-site data, using sequential sampling to collect
pedigrees which have a trait of interest, etc. Most of these
uses involve printing out the same pedigree on a frequent basis with
different data, and involve regular interaction with a database.
I am the official contact person for furthers inquiries and/or
to request a copy of the package.
wijsman at saam.bioeng.washington.edu
wijsman at max.washington.edu
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195