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International Journal of Morphology

versão On-line ISSN 0717-9502


BENITEZ, Hugo A  e  PARRA, Luis E. Fluctuating Asymmetry: A Morpho-functional Tool to Measure Development Stability. Int. J. Morphol. [online]. 2011, vol.29, n.4, pp.1459-1469. ISSN 0717-9502.

The ability of an organism to produce an ideal phenotype, despite the disturbances encountered during its development is the causal mechanism of the developmental stability (DS). This ability is used to evaluate a variety of stress types and the genotypic ability to correct them. The measurement tool mostly used to estimate the DS is the fluctuating asymmetry (FA), this being a small measure of random deviations that occur between the left and right sides of bilaterally symmetrical features. The study of FA management in its simplicity and speed in obtaining results has become the focus of interest in biology, and during the last years, and although there has been a progressive increase in published articles using FA to evaluate disturbances in the DS, many questions remain as to what constitutes the underlying causes that generate FA. This review compiles information on the progress in studies of FA use, its methodology, mechanisms, benefits and controversies in time, and proposes that it is strictly necessary to generate a better understanding of this tool, and as a result the use of more precise study models that justify a unified approach to the analysis of patterns in FA and DS.

Palavras-chave : Developmental instability; Sexual Selection; Genotype; Phenotype.

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