Quantitative Genetics of Human Tooth Morphology

Scientists use teeth to understand relationships between individuals, populations and species in the past. Our research team is working to better refine our understanding of the genetic and non-genetic factors that determine the appearance, size and shape of teeth in the human mouth. This information will better define our understanding of recent human evolution and also has potential clinical applications for orthodontics as well as forensic applications for identifying the remains of unknown victims of crime.

Project Contact
Christopher Stojanowski
Professor and Director

Project Details

This project uses documented dental cast collections to examine quantitative genetic variation of the human dentition. The goal is to provide foundational understanding of the determinants of human dental variation at the inter-individual, inter-populational and inter-species levels. A key component of the project is estimating pleiotropic effects among different dental crown dimensions and anatomical variants with respect to evolutionary developmental models of tooth crown formation. The project also provides novel estimates of narrow-sense heritability across a number of human populations.

Research Team

Funding

National Science Foundation Senior Award entitled Exploring the bioarchaeological relevance of population-specific patterns of heritability and integration in the human dentition.

($400,737; BCS-1750089; Christopher M. Stojanowski (100% recognition), PI; KS Paul – co-PI.

National Science Foundation Senior Award entitled Integrating Developmental Morphogenetic Theory and Dental Biodistance Practices.

($249,655; BCS-1063942; Christopher M. Stojanowski (95% recognition), PI; WN Duncan; J Femiani; GR Scott – co-PIs).

Wenner-Gren Foundation Dissertation Fieldwork Grant entitled Developing an Infrastructure for Biodistance Analysis using Deciduous Dental Phenotypes.

($3,208; Kathleen S. Paul, supervised by Christopher M. Stojanowski).

National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant entitled Developing an Infrastructure for Biodistance Analyses using Deciduous Dental Phenotypes.

($18,255; Christopher M. Stojanowski, Kathleen S. Paul).

Outcomes

CM Stojanowski, KS Paul, AC Seidel, WN Duncan, D Guatelli-Steinberg. 2019. Quantitativce genetic analyses of postcanine morphological crown variation. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 168: 606-631.

CM Stojanowski, KS Paul, AC Seidel, WN Duncan, D Guatelli-Steinberg. 2018. Heritability and genetic integration of anterior tooth crown variants in the South Carolina Gullah. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 167:124-143.

CM Stojanowski, KS Paul, AC Seidel, WN Duncan, D Guatelli-Steinberg. 2017. Heritability and genetic integration of tooth size in the South Carolina Gullah. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 164:505-521.

KS Paul, CM Stojanowski. 2017. Comparative performance of deciduous and permanent dental morphology in detecting biological relatives. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 164:97-116.

KS Paul, CM Stojanowski. 2015. Performance analysis of deciduous morphology for detecting biological siblings. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 157:615-629.

www.dentalphenomics.org

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