Taste sensitivity to PTC and colour blindness in Estonians

  • Leiu Heapost Department of Archaeobiology and Ancient Technology, Institute of History, Tallinn University, Estonia
Keywords: PTC, colour blindness, population genetics, Estonians


The article discusses the genetic characterisation of Estonians on the basis of the traits of PTC and colour blindness in Estonian population samples from various parts of Estonia. The taste sensitivity to PTC was studied in 2559 Estonian schoolchildren from 24 localities and of colour blindness in 4300 males from 33 localities. Results: The frequency of nontasters was 25.4% on average; <i>t</i> gene frequency (50.4% for Estonians) varied between 36% and 65%. PTC nontasters frequency is higher on West-Estonian islands and in Western Estonia compared to other parts of Estonia. The frequency of colour blindness <i>cb</i> gene (5.3% for Estonians) is higher in North, North-East and East Estonia (6–8%); its mean frequency on the rest of the territory is lower. The genetic diversity in various traits seem to be a trace of the historical development of the Estonian nation.


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