Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

The secret of a natural blond

Elucidating the molecular mechanisms responsible for changes in gene expression is important for understanding the evolution of morphological traits. A new study identifies the molecular basis of the association between KITLG and blond hair color, presenting an intriguing example of how a single DNA base-pair change in an upstream regulatory element can cause relatively large and specific downstream changes in phenotype.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Effect of a single SNP (rs12821256) on hair color.

Debbie Maizels/Nature Publishing Group

References

  1. 1

    Edwards, S. et al. Am. J. Hum. Genet. 93, 779–797 (2013).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Walsh, S. et al. Forensic Sci. Int. Genet. 7, 98–115 (2013).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Guenther, C.A., Tasic, B., Luo, L., Bedell, M.A. & Kingsley, D.M. Nat. Genet. 46, 748–752 (2014).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Sulem, P. et al. Nat. Genet. 39, 1443–1452 (2007).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Rockman, M.V. Evolution 66, 1–17 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Travisano, M. & Shaw, R.G. Evolution 67, 305–314 (2013).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Hopi Hoekstra.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing financial interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Hoekstra, H. The secret of a natural blond. Nat Genet 46, 660–661 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/ng.3019

Download citation

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing