Genetic and phenotypic variability of iris color in Buenos Aires population

Abstract The aim of this work was to describe the phenotypic and genotypic variability related to iris color for the population of Buenos Aires province (Argentina), and to assess the usefulness of current methods of analysis for this country. We studied five Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) included in the IrisPlex kit, in 118 individuals, and we quantified eye color with Digital Iris Analysis Tool. The markers fit Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium for the whole sample, but not for rs12913832 within the group of brown eyes (LR=8.429; p=0.004). We found a remarkable association of HERC2 rs12913832 GG with blue color (p < 0.01) but the other markers did not show any association with iris color. The results for the Buenos Aires population differ from those of other populations of the world for these polymorphisms (p < 0,01). The differences we found might respond to the admixed ethnic composition of Argentina; therefore, methods of analysis used in European populations should be carefully applied when studying the population of Argentina. These findings reaffirm the importance of this investigation in the Argentinian population for people identification based on iris color.