© 2019 In seeking to understand the establishment of left–right (LR) asymmetry, a limiting factor is that most animals are ordinarily invariant in their asymmetry, except when manipulated or mutated. It is therefore surprising that the wider scientific field does not appear to fully appreciate the remarkable fact that normal development in molluscs, especially snails, can flip between two chiral types without pathology. Here, I describe recent progress in understanding the evolution, development, and genetics of chiral variation in snails, and place it in context with other animals. I argue that the natural variation of snails is a crucial resource towards understanding the invariance in other animal groups and, ultimately, will be key in revealing the common factors that define cellular and organismal LR asymmetry.
Davison, A. (2020). Flipping Shells! Unwinding LR Asymmetry in Mirror-Image Molluscs. Trends in Genetics, 36(3), 189-202. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tig.2019.12.003