Genetica

, Volume 105, Issue 1, pp 81–91

Correlated development, organism‐wide asymmetry and patterns of asymmetry in two moth species

  • Stefan Van Dongen
  • Ellen Sprengers
  • Christer Löfstedt
Article

DOI: 10.1023/A:1003682110711

Cite this article as:
Dongen, S.V., Sprengers, E. & Löfstedt, C. Genetica (1999) 105: 81. doi:10.1023/A:1003682110711

Abstract

Understanding the mechanisms that determine the development of a bilaterally symmetrical trait is crucial to the interpretation of patterns of fluctuating asymmetry (FA). Experimental and theoretical studies have indicated that feedback mechanisms both within and between developing traits, may participate in the developmental control of asymmetry. This study provides evidence that naturally occurring patterns of FA are affected by interactions between different traits. We found positive between‐trait correlations in signed FA values for tibia lengths on different legs, but not between wing and tibia FA in two moth species. Further research should investigate if trait functionality is related to this presumed correlated development. An extension of the Rashevsky–Turing model of morphogenesis further showed that correlations between the signed FA values can be generated by feedback mechanisms that regulate growth patterns between traits. We argue that such feedback mechanisms can be expected to be widespread and show that between‐trait correlations in the unsigned FA then become confounded with correlations in the signed FA. In addition, correlated development appeared to invalidate the use of the hypothetical repeatability to translate correlations between the unsigned FA values into correlations in the presumed underlying developmental instability. In conclusion, the presence of an organism‐wide asymmetry, which are most frequently found in morphologically integrated traits, may be even less common than previously thought.

antisymmetrycorrelationdevelopmental stabilitydependent developmentfluctuating asymmetry

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan Van Dongen
    • 1
  • Ellen Sprengers
    • 2
  • Christer Löfstedt
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of Antwerp(UIA)WilrijkBelgium
  2. 2.Department of EcologyLund UniversityLundSweden (Phone