According to recent research, scientists discovered 50 new eye color genes. In this analysis, around 195,000 people participated from Asia and Europe. The research team was led by King’s and Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, and the study was published in Science Advances.

Fifty New Genes for Eye Color

According to Science Advances, The international research team has found above 50 new genes with different eye colors. The study reported information after analyzing the genetic data of 200,000 European and Asian people.

The pupil is a black circle in the center of the iris and is also the part of the eyes that is pigmented.

The iris colors are commonly referred to as brown, blue, grey, or hazel. The most common eye color is brown and lighter brown. These eye colors are seen in people who are of European heritage.

Earlier, it was speculated that the color of the iris influences only a few genes. 

As per previous studies, variation in eye color was dominated by one or two genes. Genetically, the brown color might dominate the blue ones. After a period of time, a dozen eye color genes were found and researchers suspected that there were more to be discovered.

Co-senior author Dr. Pirro Hysi, King’s talked about the analysis that “The findings are exciting because they bring us a step closer to understanding the genes that cause one of the most striking features of the human faces, which has mystified generations throughout our history. This will improve our understanding of many diseases that we know are associated with specific pigmentation levels.”

This study helps understand eye-related diseases such as ocular albinism, and pigmentary glaucoma because eye pigment levels play a vital role. Scientists exposed more, this study can not only reveal more about the biology underlying eye shade. It also contributes new insights into eye diseases because eye pigment levels are connected with both disorders (ocular albinism, pigmentary glaucoma).

Additionally, the research team learned that the Asians’ eye color with various colors of brown genetically matches the eye color in Europeans from dark to light brown.

Co-senior author Dr. Manfred Kayser from Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam explained “This study delivers the genetic knowledge needed to improve eye colour prediction from DNA as already applied in anthropological and forensic studies, but with limited accuracy for the non-brown and non-blue eye colours.”