Monday, March 19, 2012

Wet or Dry Ear wax and Armpit Odor

Excerpt from a Nature Genetics Article.
They write that earwax type and armpit odor are correlated, since populations with dry earwax, such as those of East Asia, tend to sweat less and have little or no body odor, whereas the wet earwax populations of Africa and Europe sweat more and so may have greater body odor.
They show that a SNP, 538G right arrow A (rs17822931), in the ABCC11 gene is responsible for determination of earwax type. The AA genotype corresponds to dry earwax, and GA and GG to wet type. A 27-bp deletion in ABCC11 exon 29 was also found in a few individuals of Asian ancestry.
I think the excerpt of article is self explanatory. When I have my autosomal DNA, I too will check for rsID rs17822931 and see the genotype. I already know my ear wax type. (Please see here on reading rsID from a typical autosomal file).

According to the ALFRED database, This SNP is the first example of DNA polymorphism determining a visible genetic trait.

From:  Gene Expression: Wet or Dry Ear Wax 
Original articleNature Genetics 38, 324 - 330 (2006) A SNP in the ABCC11 gene is the determinant of human earwax type Koh-ichiro Yoshiura et al
Other related articles:  The impact of natural selection on an ABCC11 SNP determining earwax type Ohashi J et al 2011  (A blog post discussing article)

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