WILSON, CHESTER E.* AND ERIN L. BRASSIL. Biology Department, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN 55105. - Variation in fluctuating asymmetry among genotypes of Glechoma hederacea.
Fluctuating asymmetry is a measurement of non-directional deviation
from bilateral symmetry. Variation in floral and vegetative symmetry
between genets of creeping charlie (Glechoma hederacea) would
indicate developmental differences in the shape of flowers and leaves.
Floral samples were collected from a 1/2 square mile area during two
summer seasons. Leaf samples were collected from the same area during
one summer season. No difference in asymmetry exists among genets for
floral traits, but asymmetry of vegetative traits differs
significantly among genets. The degree of fluctuating asymmetry in
vegetative traits displays strong positive spatial autocorrelation.
This suggests that the potential for phenotypic plasticity differs
greatly between floral and vegetative traits. Quantitative genetic
studies are underway in order to determine the relative importance of
environmental and genetic contributions to the genotypic differences.
Key words: fluctuating asymmetry, geographic variation, Glechoma hederacea, phenotypic plasticity, quantitative genetics