Ontogenetic and population studies traditionally develop independently. At the same time, the relevance of specific analysis of a specimen as ontogenesis for both correct assessment of populations and their dynamics in time and space and understanding the mechanisms underlying population processes is becoming more and more clear. Developmental stability serves as the most general description of the developing organism status. The level of developmental noise commonly evaluated by fluctuating asymmetry is the main index of developmental stability. High developmental stability is maintained on the basis of genetic coadaptation under optimal developmental conditions. Coordinated changes in developmental stability and other homeostatic indices, including genetic, physiological, biochemical, and immune indices suggest that we consider the general status of the organism by evaluating its developmental stability. Evaluation of developmental stability as a measure of environmental stress, apparently, is the most promising. In practical terms, this allows us to evaluate and monitor environmental health under both natural and various anthropogenic conditions. Outlooks of this approach as relates to studies of developmental stability are discussed.
Russian Journal of Developmental Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 9, 2004
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