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Iris texture traits show associations with iris color and genomic ancestry




This study seeks to identify associations among genomic biogeographic ancestry (BGA), quantitative iris color, and iris texture traits contributing to population-level variation in these phenotypes.


DNA and iris photographs were collected from 300 individuals across three variably admixed populations (Portugal, Brazil, and Cape Verde). Two raters scored the photos for pigmentation spots, Fuchs' crypts, contraction furrows, and Wolflinn nodes. Iris color was quantified from RGB values. Maximum likelihood estimates of individual BGA were calculated from 176 ancestry informative markers.


Pigmentation spots, Fuchs' crypts, contraction furrows, and iris color show significant positive correlation with increasing European BGA. Only contraction furrows are correlated with iris color.


The relationship between BGA and iris texture illustrates a genetic contribution to this population-level variation. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.