Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

No Single Gene For Eye Color, Researchers Prove

Date:
February 25, 2007
Source:
University of Queensland
Summary:
A study by researchers from The University of Queensland's Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) and the Queensland Institute of Medical Research is the first to prove conclusively that there is no single gene for eye colour. Instead, it found that several genes determine the colour of an individual's eyes, although some have more influence than others.

Says Dr. Rick Sturm, the IMB researcher who led the study: "... the model of eye colour inheritance using a single gene is insufficient to explain the range of eye colours that appear in humans. We believe instead that there are two major genes -- one that controls for brown or blue, and one that controls for green or hazel -- and others that modify this trait." (Credit: Image courtesy of University of Queensland)
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Queensland

A study by researchers from The University of Queensland's Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) and the Queensland Institute of Medical Research is the first to prove conclusively that there is no single gene for eye colour.

Related Articles


Instead, it found that several genes determine the colour of an individual's eyes, although some have more influence than others.

“Each individual has two versions of a gene, inheriting one from each parent, and these versions can be the same as each other or different,” Dr Rick Sturm, the IMB researcher who led the study, said.

“It used to be thought that eye colour was what we call a simple Mendelian recessive trait - in other words, brown eye colour was dominant over blue, so a person with two brown versions of the gene or a brown and a blue would have brown eyes, and only two blues with no brown could produce blue eyes.

“But the model of eye colour inheritance using a single gene is insufficient to explain the range of eye colours that appear in humans. We believe instead that there are two major genes - one that controls for brown or blue, and one that controls for green or hazel - and others that modify this trait.

“So contrary to what used to be thought, it is possible for two blue-eyed parents to have a brown-eyed child, although this is not common.”

Dr Sturm likens the system to a light bulb.

“The mechanism that determines whether an eye is brown or blue is like switching on a light, whereas an eye becoming green or hazel is more like someone unscrewing the light bulb and putting in a different one.”

The study was carried out to clarify the role of the OCA2 gene in the inheritance of eye colour and other pigmentary traits associated with skin cancer risk in white populations, and examined nearly 4000 adolescent twins, their siblings and their parents over five years.

The findings are published in this month's edition of the American Journal of Human Genetics, and were supported with grants from Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council and the United States of America's National Cancer Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Queensland. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Queensland. "No Single Gene For Eye Color, Researchers Prove." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 February 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070222180729.htm>.
University of Queensland. (2007, February 25). No Single Gene For Eye Color, Researchers Prove. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070222180729.htm
University of Queensland. "No Single Gene For Eye Color, Researchers Prove." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070222180729.htm (accessed October 26, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Newsy (Oct. 25, 2014) — A Harvard University Research Team created genetically engineered stem cells that are able to kill cancer cells, while leaving other cells unharmed. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins