Thursday, September 15, 2005

New locus for skin color?   posted by Razib @ 9/15/2005 03:56:00 AM

Evidence for Recent Positive Selection at the Human AIM1 Locus in a European Population. The authors took samples from whites from South Africa, Tamils and Sinhalese from Sri Lanka, Chinese from Guanghzhou, Ghanians from Accra and Xhosans from South Africa. They found that one particular allele on AIM1 locus seems to have been under strong directional selection over the past few tens of thousands of years in Europeans, and this allele seems to correlate with pale complexion. In contrast with the pattern on MC1R, where Africans are under functional constraint (new non-neutral variants are purified via negative selection) and Europeans seem to be diversified via relaxation of selection, here Europeans seem to be subject to some sort of selective sweep. The results are interesting especially in light of the recent review of MC1R I have posted on. Dienekes has more.