Korean Eye Color Genetics
Name: Matt D.
Date: June 2002
I read the archives regarding eye polygenetics. Great stuff. Our
children have steel-blue / hazel eyes. I am white; my eyes are light
brown with a small green portion at the bottom of the iris; my mother has
blue eyes. My wife is Korean, with what I would call 3/4 dark brown
eyes. I heard from a friend that children of white and Korean parents
could have non-brown eyes because Koreans can trace their roots to
Mongolia, and there are Mongolians with green eyes. He knows of another
couple like us that have children with green/hazel eyes. Before
forwarding a possible urban / antropological legend as the reason for our
children's eye color, I'd like to hear if this Mongolian theory could have
some truth to it or not.
Eye color is far more complex than most texts indicate. It seems that, In
humans, at least three genes are involved in eye color. What most books
indicate is a simple dominance of brown over blue and ignore the greens,
shades of brown and blues. Hazel eye color (light brown), almost black to
moderate browns, and the various shades of blue (from very light to deep)
are obviously expressions of a more complex array of genes than a single
gene with two alleles or even two genes. The genetics of eye color is NOT
even reasonably understood in my opinion. It is possible that not only
pigments derived form different proteins but subtle variations in iris
structure might be involved...
Peter Faletra Ph.D.
Office of Science
Department of Energy
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