Symmetry 2010, 2(2), 466-540; doi:10.3390/sym2020466

Fluctuating Asymmetry: Methods, Theory, and Applications

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Received: 22 December 2009; in revised form: 27 February 2010 / Accepted: 15 March 2010 / Published: 25 March 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers: Symmetry Concepts and Applications)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: Fluctuating asymmetry consists of random deviations from perfect symmetry in populations of organisms. It is a measure of developmental noise, which reflects a population’s average state of adaptation and coadaptation. Moreover, it increases under both environmental and genetic stress, though responses are often inconsistent. Researchers base studies of fluctuating asymmetry upon deviations from bilateral, radial, rotational, dihedral, translational, helical, and fractal symmetries. Here, we review old and new methods of measuring fluctuating asymmetry, including measures of dispersion, landmark methods for shape asymmetry, and continuous symmetry measures. We also review the theory, developmental origins, and applications of fluctuating asymmetry, and attempt to explain conflicting results. In the process, we present examples from the literature, and from our own research at “Evolution Canyon” and elsewhere.
Keywords: continuous symmetry measures; developmental instability; Evolution Canyon; fitness; genomic coadaptation; landmark methods; stress
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MDPI and ACS Style

Graham, J.H.; Raz, S.; Hel-Or, H.; Nevo, E. Fluctuating Asymmetry: Methods, Theory, and Applications. Symmetry 2010, 2, 466-540.

AMA Style

Graham JH, Raz S, Hel-Or H, Nevo E. Fluctuating Asymmetry: Methods, Theory, and Applications. Symmetry. 2010; 2(2):466-540.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Graham, John H.; Raz, Shmuel; Hel-Or, Hagit; Nevo, Eviatar. 2010. "Fluctuating Asymmetry: Methods, Theory, and Applications." Symmetry 2, no. 2: 466-540.

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