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Data from: Analysis of iris surface features in populations of diverse ancestry

Cite this dataset

Edwards, Melissa et al. (2015). Data from: Analysis of iris surface features in populations of diverse ancestry [Dataset]. Dryad.


There are many textural elements that can be found in the human eye, including Fuchs’ crypts, Wolfflin nodules, pigment spots, contraction furrows and conjunctival melanosis. Although iris surface features have been well-studied in populations of European ancestry, the worldwide distribution of these traits is poorly understood. In this paper, we develop a new method of characterizing iris features from photographs of the iris. We then apply this method to a diverse sample of East Asian, European and South Asian ancestry. All five iris features showed significant differences in frequency between the three populations, indicating that iris features are largely population dependent. Although none of the features were correlated with each other in the East and South Asian groups, Fuchs’ crypts were significantly correlated with contraction furrows and pigment spots and contraction furrows were significantly associated with pigment spots in the European group. The genetic marker SEMA3A rs10235789 was significantly associated with Fuchs’ crypt grade in the European, East Asian and South Asian samples and a borderline association between TRAF3IP1 rs3739070 and contraction furrow grade was found in the European sample. The study of iris surface features in diverse populations may provide valuable information of forensic, biomedical and ophthalmological interest.

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