Genome-wide association study in almost 195,000 individuals identifies 50 previously unidentified genetic loci for eye color

Mark Simcoe, David M Evans, Gibran Hemani, Susan M Ring, George Davey Smith, Pirro G. Hysi*, et al.

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
88 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Human eye colour is highly heritable, but its genetic architecture is not yet fully understood. Here we report the results of the largest genome-wide association study for eye colour to date, involving up to 192,986 European participants from 10 populations. We identify 124 independent association signals arising from 61 discrete genomic regions, of which 51 are novel. We continue to find evidence for genes involved in melanin pigmentation, but we also find novel associations with genes involved in iris morphology and structure. Further analyses in 1,636 Asian participants from two populations suggests that the iris pigmentation variation in Asians is genetically similar to Europeans, albeit with smaller effect sizes. Our findings collectively explain 53.2% (95% CI= 45.4%, 61.0%) of eye colour variation using common SNPs. Overall, our study outcomes demonstrate that the genetic complexity of human eye colour considerably exceeds previous knowledge and expectations, highlighting eye colour as a genetically highly complex human trait.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberabd1239
Number of pages11
JournalScience Advances
Volume7
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License 4.0 (CC BY-NC).

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Genome-wide association study in almost 195,000 individuals identifies 50 previously unidentified genetic loci for eye color'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this