Estimating the Heritability of Hair Curliness in Twins of European Ancestry

Sarah E. Medland, Gu Zhu and Nicholas G. Martin (2009) Estimating the Heritability of Hair Curliness in Twins of European Ancestry. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 12 5: 514-518. doi:10.1375/twin.12.5.514


Author Sarah E. Medland
Gu Zhu
Nicholas G. Martin
Title Estimating the Heritability of Hair Curliness in Twins of European Ancestry
Formatted title
Estimating the Heritability of Hair Curliness in Twins of European Ancestry
Journal name Twin Research and Human Genetics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1832-4274
Publication date 2009-10
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1375/twin.12.5.514
Volume 12
Issue 5
Start page 514
End page 518
Total pages 5
Editor Katherine M Kirk
Nicholas G Martin
Place of publication Australia
Publisher Australian Academic Press Pty. Ltd.
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject C1
Abstract Recent studies in Asian populations have identified variants in the EDAR and FGFR2 genes that arose following the divergence of Asians and Europeans and are associated with thick straight hair. To date no genetic variants have been identified influencing hair texture in Europeans. In the current study we examined the heritability of hair curliness in three unselected samples of predominantly European ancestry (NS1 = 2717; NS2 = 3904; NS3 = 5079). When rated using a three point scale (Straight/Wavy/Curly) males were ~5% more likely to report straight hair than females and there were suggestions in the data that curliness increased slightly with age. Across samples significant additive and dominant genetic influences were detected resulting in a broad sense heritability of 85–95%. Given the magnitude and the specificity of the EDAR effect on hair morphology in Asian populations we are hopeful that future association studies will detect similar genetic influences in European populations.
Formatted abstract
Recent studies in Asian populations have identified variants in the EDAR and FGFR2 genes that arose following the divergence of Asians and Europeans and are associated with thick straight hair. To date no genetic variants have been identified influencing hair texture in Europeans. In the current study we examined the heritability of hair curliness in three unselected samples of predominantly European ancestry (NS1 = 2717; NS2 = 3904; NS3 = 5079). When rated using a three point scale (Straight/Wavy/Curly) males were ~5% more likely to report straight hair than females and there were suggestions in the data that curliness increased slightly with age. Across samples significant additive and dominant genetic influences were detected resulting in a broad sense heritability of 85–95%. Given the magnitude and the specificity of the EDAR effect on hair morphology in Asian populations we are hopeful that future association studies will detect similar genetic influences in European populations.
Keyword hair texture
population genetics
biometrics
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Medicine Publications
 
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Created: Mon, 29 Mar 2010, 12:29:20 EST by Amanda Jones on behalf of Medicine - Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital