Hairy Ears in Indian Men

Hypertrichosis, or "Hairy Ears": a Y-linked trait ? [ Not ] [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 south Indian populations. The illustration shows three brothers. Molecular population studies (Lee et al. 2004) indicate that men with hairy ears do not share any common Y-chromosome DNA sequences. Also, frequencies of Y-chromosome haplotypes shared among men with hairy ears are no different than those in non-hairy control groups from the same population. 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.

Figure from Stern (1964); All text material ©2016 by Steven M. Carr