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Canalization and developmental stability in the Brachyrrhine mouse
Journal of Anatomy (2006)
  • Katherine Willmore, Western University
  • Miriam L Zelditch
  • Nathan Young
  • Andrew Ah-Seng
  • Scott Lozanoff
  • Benedikt Hallgrímsson
The semi‐dominant Br mutation affects presphenoid growth, producing the facial retrognathism and globular neurocranial vault that characterize heterozygotes. We analysed the impact of this mutation on skull shape, comparing heterozygotes to wildtype mice, to determine if the effects are skull‐wide or confined to the sphenoid region targeted by the mutation. In addition, we examined patterns of variability of shape for the skull as a whole and for three regions (basicranium, face and neurocranium). We found that the Br mice differed significantly from wildtype mice in skull shape in all three regions as well as in the shape of the skull as a whole. However, the significant increases in variance and fluctuating asymmetry were found only in the basicranium of mutant mice. These results suggest that the mutation has a significant effect on the underlying developmental architecture of the skull, which produces an increase in phenotypic variability that is localized to the anatomical region in which the mean phenotype is most dramatically affected. These results suggest that the same developmental mechanisms that produce the change in phenotypic mean also produce the change in variance.
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Katherine Willmore, Miriam L Zelditch, Nathan Young, Andrew Ah-Seng, et al.. "Canalization and developmental stability in the Brachyrrhine mouse" Journal of Anatomy (2006)
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