Chiral Speciation in Terrestrial Pulmonate Snails
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On the basis of data in the literature, the percentages of dextral versus sinistral species of snails have been calculated for western Europe, Turkey, North America (north of Mexico), and Japan. When the family of Clausiliidae is represented, about a quarter of all snail species may be sinistral, whereas less than one per cent of the species may be sinistral where that family does not occur. The number of single-gene speciation events on the basis of chirality, resulting in the origin of mirror image species, is not closely linked to the percentage of sinistral versus dextral species in a particular region. Turkey is nevertheless exceptional by both a high percentage of sinistral species and a high number of speciation events resulting in mirror image species. Shell morphology and genetic background may influence the ease of chirality-linked speciation, whereas sinistrality may additionally be selected against by internal selection. For the Clausiliidae, the fossil record and the recent fauna suggest that successful reversals in coiling direction occurred with a frequency of once every three to four million years.
- PLOS ONE
PLOS ONE 7(4), e34005, 2012-04-12
PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE