Relationship between fluctuating asymmetry, morphological modality and heterozygosity in an elderly Israeli population

Gregory Livshits*, Peter E. Smouse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We have been checking the following working hypotheses: 1) There is a negative correlation between genetic heterozygosity and fluctuating asymmetry (FA); 2) FA is a measure of developmental stability/instability of the whole organism, i.e. we expect negative correlation between FA and morphological proximity of a set of mass-size variables of an individual to a population centroid; and 3) FA is a measure of character-specific stability in a population, i.e. we expect correlation between magnitude of FA and deviation of an individual from the population centroid of the bilateral characters themselves. For this purpose each individual in a sample of about 200 elderly individuals was assessed for 11 polymorphic blood systems (14 genetic loci) as well as for a set of 26 anthropometric traits: 1) a set of ten mass size variables; and 2) a set of eight pairs of bilateral measurements. Four multivariate measures of morphological centrality were computed, two measures for size and two measures of shape distances from the ith individual to the population centroid for mass-size variables and also for the bilateral variables. A multivariate measure of FA for 8 bilateral pairs was also computed. No relationship was detected between FA and heterozygosity, or between FA and any of the four multivariate deviations. Thus, we concluded that our data do not support the listed hypotheses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-166
Number of pages12
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Feb 1993


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