What Genes Tell about Iris Appearance

Stine Harder, Susanne R. Christoffersen, Peter Johansen, Claus Børsting, Niels Morling, Jeppe D. Andersen, Anders Lindbjerg Dahl, Rasmus Reinhold Paulsen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Predicting phenotypes based on genotypes is generally hard, but has shown good results for prediction of iris color. We propose to correlate the appearance of iris with DNA. Six single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have previously been shown to correlate with human iris color, and we demonstrate that especially one of the six SNPs are correlated with iris appearance. To perform this analysis we need a method to model the iris appearance, and we suggest an iris characterization based on a bag of visual words, which gives us a similarity measure between images of eyes. We have a dataset of 215 eye images with corresponding SNP types, where the image of the iris has been segmented. We perform two experiments based on the iris characterization. An agglomerative clustering is performed and the result is that one SNP - rs12913832 (HERC2) is highly correlated with the image clustering. Furthermore subspace projections are performed supporting that this SNP is very important for eye color expression. With the suggested image characterizations we are able to investigate the correlation between the phenotypic iris appearance and specific SNPs. This has potential for further investigation of the relation between DNA and iris appearance, especially with focus on iris texture. © 2013 Springer-Verlag.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedical Computer Vision. Recognition Techniques and Applications in Medical Imaging : Second International MICCAI Workshop, MCV 2012, Nice, France, October 5, 2012, Revised Selected Papers
Publication date2013
ISBN (Print)978-3-642-36619-2
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-642-36620-8
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event15th International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention (MICCAI 2012) : Workshop on Medical Computer Vision (MCV) - Nice, France
Duration: 5 Oct 2012 → …


Workshop15th International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention (MICCAI 2012) : Workshop on Medical Computer Vision (MCV)
Period05/10/2012 → …
Internet address
SeriesLecture Notes in Computer Science


  • Iris color
  • Iris texture
  • Image analysis
  • Image clustering
  • Canonical discriminant analysis
  • DNA

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