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Forensic Sci Int. 2001 Nov 1;122(2-3):124-9.

Sequence polymorphism in the human melanocortin 1 receptor gene as an indicator of the red hair phenotype.

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  • 1Forensic Science Service, 2960 Trident Court, Birmingham Business Park, Solihull, West Midlands B37 7YN, UK.


We describe a minisequencing protocol for screening DNA samples for the presence of 12 mutations in the human melanocortin 1 receptor gene (MC1R), eight of which are associated with the red hair phenotype. A minisequencing profile which shows homozygosity for one of these mutations or the presence of two different mutations would strongly indicate that the sample donor is red haired. The absence of any red hair causing mutations would indicate that the sample donor does not have red hair. We report the frequencies of MC1R variants in the British red haired population.

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