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Am J Phys Anthropol. 1975 Nov;43(3):387-91.

Rethingking human pigmentation.


Though pigmentation has been of interest to anthropologists for a long time, its inheritance, and particularly the reasons for the incomplete correlation of skin, hair and eye, is poorly understood. It is suggested that this is largely due to lack of genetically plausible hypotheses. Taking into account racial and individual variation in pigment traits, and knowledge of pigmentation in other mammals, a minimum set of genetic factors for pigmentation in man is suggested. These include: (1) a set of polygenes affecting skin color only; (2) one locus for depigmentation of the eye, not affecting skin or hair, (3) one pleiotropic gene for reduction of pigment at all sites, and (4) one or more loci with multiple alleles producing blondness or rufosity of the hair in symmetrical patterns over the body.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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