Title
Heritabilities of directional asymmetry in the fore- and hindlimbs of rabbit fetuses
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Publication type
article
Publication
Subject
Biology
Engineering sciences. Technology
Source (journal)
PLoS ONE
Volume/pages
8(2013) :10 , p. 1-8
ISSN
1932-6203
Article Reference
e76358
ISI
000325814200035
Carrier
E-only publicatie
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Directional asymmetry (DA), where at the population level symmetry differs from zero, has been reported in a wide range of traits and taxa, even for traits in which symmetry is expected to be the target of selection such as limbs or wings. In invertebrates, DA has been suggested to be non-adaptive. In vertebrates, there has been a wealth of research linking morphological asymmetry to behavioural lateralisation. On the other hand, the prenatal expression of DA and evidences for quantitative genetic variation for asymmetry may suggest it is not solely induced by differences in mechanic loading between sides. We estimate quantitative genetic variation of fetal limb asymmetry in a large dataset of rabbits. Our results showed a low but highly significant level of DA that is partially under genetic control for all traits, with forelimbs displaying higher levels of asymmetry. Genetic correlations were positive within limbs, but negative across bones of fore and hind limbs. Environmental correlations were positive for all, but smaller across fore and hind limbs. We discuss our results in light of the existence and maintenance of DA in locomotory traits.
Full text (open access)
https://repository.uantwerpen.be/docman/irua/4ae46d/af38d352.pdf
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