Hair color is one of the most recognizable visual traits in European populations and is under strong genetic control. Here we report the results of a genome-wide association study meta-analysis of almost 300,000 participants of European descent. We identified 123 autosomal and one X-chromosome loci significantly associated with hair color; all but 13 are novel. Collectively, single-nucleotide polymorphisms associated with hair color within these loci explain 34.6% of red hair, 24.8% of blond hair, and 26.1% of black hair heritability in the study populations. These results confirm the polygenic nature of complex phenotypes and improve our understanding of melanin pigment metabolism in humans.

dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-018-0100-5, hdl.handle.net/1765/105846
Nature Genetics
This work was funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme; grant id fp7/201413 - European Network for Genetic and Genomic Epidemiology (ENGAGE)
Department of Genetic Identification

Hysi, P.G, Valdes, A.M. (A. M.), Liu, F, Furlotte, N.A. (Nicholas A.), Evans, D.M. (David M.), Bataille, V. (Veronique), … Spector, T.D. (2018). Genome-wide association meta-analysis of individuals of European ancestry identifies new loci explaining a substantial fraction of hair color variation and heritability. Nature Genetics, 1–5. doi:10.1038/s41588-018-0100-5