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Bilateral colour asymmetry

Geoff Ralling ralling at UPEI.CA
Tue Oct 22 06:20:49 EST 1996

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 upei.ca

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