Summary: © 2006 Nature Publishing Group
Two new studies using contrasting
approaches shed light on why sex
evolves, and how it maintains itself.
Sexual reproduction isn't easy.
In evolutionary terms it is much
less effort to reproduce asexually.
However, asexual organisms have
genetic loci that are permanently
linked and so, theoretically, are
more prone to accumulating
deleterious mutations -- a factor
that is often cited to explain the
evolutionarily short-lived nature
of most asexual species.
Paland and Lynch tested whether
the theoretical advantage that sex
has in purging deleterious muta-
tions -- owing to the meiotic and
recombinational reshuffling of genes