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Evolution of whole-body enantiomorphy in the tree snail genus Amphidromus
Version of Record online: 10 OCT 2006
Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume 20, Issue 2, pages 661–672, March 2007
How to Cite
SUTCHARIT, C., ASAMI, T. and PANHA, S. (2007), Evolution of whole-body enantiomorphy in the tree snail genus Amphidromus. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 20: 661–672. doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2006.01246.x
- Issue online: 10 OCT 2006
- Version of Record online: 10 OCT 2006
- Received 22 June 2006; revised 15 August 2006; accepted 22 August 2006
- mtDNA phylogeny;
Diverse animals exhibit left–right asymmetry in development. However, no example of dimorphism for the left–right polarity of development (whole-body enantiomorphy) is known to persist within natural populations. In snails, whole-body enantiomorphs have repeatedly evolved as separate species. Within populations, however, snails are not expected to exhibit enantiomorphy, because of selection against the less common morph resulting from mating disadvantage. Here we present a unique example of evolutionarily stable whole-body enantiomorphy in snails. Our molecular phylogeny of South-east Asian tree snails in the genus Amphidromus indicates that enantiomorphy has likely persisted as the ancestral state over a million generations. Enantiomorphs have continuously coexisted in every population surveyed spanning a period of 10 years. Our results indicate that whole-body enantiomorphy is maintained within populations opposing the rule of directional asymmetry in animals. This study implicates the need for explicit approaches to disclosure of a maintenance mechanism and conservation of the genus.