Bilateral colour asymmetry

Hampton Carson hampton at
Tue Oct 22 16:51:15 EST 1996


What you have described is very likely to be a genetic mosaic from the
time of fertilization.  Lots of these are known in Drosophila of different
species.The bilateral asymnmetry you have described, on a strict saggital
line, is well known.
Color patterns of lobsters would be an interesting research
topic. The land crab, Gecarcinus ruricola, a land crab from the Caribbean
has incredible color polymorphism among adults buts nothing is known about
its inheritance.

With Aloha from

Hamp Carson

On Tue, 22 Oct 1996, Geoff Ralling wrote:

> I believe this group might be able to answer my questions about an unusual 
> lobster since drosophila types are interested in genes for body symmetry.
> I work at the University of Prince Edward Island which houses the Atlantic 
> Veterinary College.  In one of the student demonstration tanks is an Atlantic 
> Lobster which shows complete bilateral colour asymmetry.  I have two questions:
> 	What sort of mutation would cause this?  I can only think of a somatic 
> mutation in a colour gene occuring early in the development of the embryo.  
> Can someone support this or suggest an alternative?
> 	Has anyone ever heard of or seen such a thing in any animal?  This 
> creature is wild-type colour on the RHS and bright red on the LHS with a razor 
> sharp line down its midline dividing left and right.  Bright red colour 
> mutants are occasionally caught around here but this left-right asymmetrical 
> is in my view spectacular.  It hasn't seemed to impress anyone else though.  
> Thanks for any insights.  Hope this is an appropriate group.
> Geoff Ralling
> University of Prince Edward Island
> ralling at

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