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Common gene variants for skin tone found – LIFE

Single-base variant

The single-base variant rs1426654 accounts for 25-38% of skin colour variation between Africans and Europeans. Like earlier studies, this study too found this single-base variant was strongly associated with skin pigmentation in the Indian population.

In fact, rs1426654 was one of the four SNPs that had maximum effect on skin pigmentation in people living here. The results were published in the
American Journal of Human Biology

The gene variants (allele) that give the skin a darker colour due to the presence of higher amount of melanin pigment are found in people living in south India while those living in north India have gene variants that make the skin lighter. The darker skin of people in south India was reflected in higher mean melanin index (a representation of the amount of melanin in the skin) of 48 compared with mean melanin index of 39 in the case of people in north India. The population in east and west India has intermediate values (mean MI of 41).

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