Erfelijkheid van een aantal muzikale vaardigheden is aangetoond in een recent onderzoek. Genen rondom UGT8 in het menselijk genoom blijken sterk verband te hebben met muzikaliteit. Maar muzikale famillies wisten dit natuurlijk al lang, al moet je toch nog flink studeren!

Comprehensive genomic analyses associate UGT8 variants with musical ability in a Mongolian population.


Musical abilities such as recognising
music and singing performance serve as means for
communication and are instruments in sexual selection.
Specific regions of the brain have been found to be
activated by musical stimuli, but these have rarely been
extended to the discovery of genes and molecules
associated with musical ability.

A total of 1008 individuals from 73 families
were enrolled and a pitch-production accuracy test was
applied to determine musical ability. To identify genetic
loci and variants that contribute to musical ability, we
conducted family-based linkage and association analyses,
and incorporated the results with data from exome
sequencing and array comparative genomic hybridisation

We found significant evidence of linkage at
4q23 with the nearest marker D4S2986 (LOD=3.1),
whose supporting interval overlaps a previous study in
Finnish families, and identified an intergenic single
nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) (rs1251078,
p=8.4×10−17) near UGT8, a gene highly expressed in
the central nervous system and known to act in brain
organisation. In addition, a non-synonymous SNP in UGT8
was revealed to be highly associated with musical ability
(rs4148254, p=8.0×10−17), and a 6.2 kb copy number
loss near UGT8 showed a plausible association with
musical ability (p=2.9×10−6).
Conclusions This study provides new insight into the
genetics of musical ability, exemplifying a methodology
to assign functional significance to synonymous and noncoding
alleles by integrating multiple experimental


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