Prediction of Eye Colour in Scandinavians Using the EyeColour 11 (EC11) SNP Set

Olivia Strunge Meyer, Nina Mjølsnes Salvo, Anne Kjærbye, Marianne Kjersem, Mikkel Meyer Andersen, Erik Sørensen, Henrik Ullum, Kirstin Janssen, Niels Morling, Claus Børsting, Gunn-Hege Olsen, Jeppe Dyrberg Andersen


Description of a perpetrator's eye colour can be an important investigative lead in a forensic case with no apparent suspects. Herein, we present 11 SNPs (Eye Colour 11-EC11) that are important for eye colour prediction and eye colour prediction models for a two-category reporting system (blue and brown) and a three-category system (blue, intermediate, and brown). The EC11 SNPs were carefully selected from 44 pigmentary variants in seven genes previously found to be associated with eye colours in 757 Europeans (Danes, Swedes, and Italians). Mathematical models using three different reporting systems: a quantitative system (PIE-score), a two-category system (blue and brown), and a three-category system (blue, intermediate, brown) were used to rank the variants. SNPs with a sufficient mean variable importance (above 0.3%) were selected for EC11. Eye colour prediction models using the EC11 SNPs were developed using leave-one-out cross-validation (LOOCV) in an independent data set of 523 Norwegian individuals. Performance of the EC11 models for the two- and three-category system was compared with models based on the IrisPlex SNPs and the most important eye colour locus, rs12913832. We also compared model performances with the IrisPlex online tool (IrisPlex Web). The EC11 eye colour prediction models performed slightly better than the IrisPlex and rs12913832 models in all reporting systems and better than the IrisPlex Web in the three-category system. Three important points to consider prior to the implementation of eye colour prediction in a forensic genetic setting are discussed: (1) the reference population, (2) the SNP set, and (3) the reporting strategy.

Udgave nummer6
StatusUdgivet - 27 maj 2021


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