Abstract of the chapter







Skin pigmentation and evolution

Mónica Martínez García


A wide range of genes are involved in melanogenesis in humans. Alterations in the sequence of those genes are considered the major source of variability of pigmentation, which could be deleterious, beneficial or neutral depending on the environment. Solar radiation has had a main role in establishing a correlation between the geographic location of humans and pigmentation. This correlation is the result of natural selection over long periods of time that has been changing with modern lifestyles. The recent lifestyle has allowed some humans to live in certain places that are inconvenient in terms of their genome. This is more noticeable when talking about individuals with hypopigmentation (i.e: albinism) in such a way that they can live in regions with high radiation with a proper protection against the harmful effect of sun and they live normally despite their visual defects thanks to the development of technology.