Hairy Ears

Hairy Ears: a Y-linked trait ? [OMIM 425500]

Growth of thick hair on the pinnae of the external ears of males has long been presented in genetics textbooks as a Y-linked trait, common in some Indian populations. Recent molecular studies (Lee et al. 2004) indicate that Indian men with hairy ears do not share common Y-chromosome DNA sequences, and that the frequenices of the Y-chromosome haplotypes found among men with hairy ears are no different than in a control group of men with non-hairy ears. The data thus indicate that hairy-eared men are unrelated and do not share a common Y-linked allele. The trait may instead be a sex-limited trait (like beard growth) influenced by one or more autosomal loci.

All text material ©2009 by Steven M. Carr