Direct evidence for positive selection of skin, hair, and eye pigmentation in Europeans during the last 5,000 y.

Citation metadata

Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
Document Type: Report; Author abstract; Brief article
Length: 117 words

Document controls

Main content

Abstract :

Pigmentation is a polygenic trait encompassing some of the most visible phenotypic variation observed in humans. Here we present direct estimates of selection acting on functional alleles in three key genes known to be involved in human pigmentation pathways--HERC2, SLC45A2, and TYR--using allele frequency estimates from Eneolithic, Bronze Age, and modern Eastern European samples and forward simulations. Neutrality was overwhelmingly rejected for all alleles studied, with point estimates of selection ranging from around 2-10% per generation. Our results provide direct evidence that strong selection favoring lighter skin, hair, and eye pigmentation has been operating in European populations over the last 5,000 y. ancient DNA | computer simulations | natural selection | Neolithic/Bronze Age | Eastern Europe

Source Citation

Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A365072900