Read e-book online Clonality: The Genetics, Ecology, and Evolution of Sexual PDF

By John Avise

ISBN-10: 019536967X

ISBN-13: 9780195369670

Nearly 99.9% of vertebrate species reproduce sexually. the outstanding 0.1% reproduce through asexual or clonal potential, which fluctuate wildly and are interesting of their personal correct. during this booklet, John C. Avise describes the genetics, ecology, common heritage, and evolution of the world's nearly a hundred species of vertebrate animal that normally reveal one shape or one other of clonal or quasi-clonal replica. through contemplating the numerous points of sexual abstinence and clonal copy in vertebrate animals, Avise sheds new mild at the organic which means and ramifications of ordinary sexuality.

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Extra resources for Clonality: The Genetics, Ecology, and Evolution of Sexual Abstinence in Vertebrate Animals

Example text

The reduced efficiency of natural selection in asexual populations, compared to sexual ones, is another reason to expect a long-term evolutionary advantage for sex. Somewhat related to all of these notions is the idea that sexual reproduction accelerates the process of adaptation in ways that lower a population’s risk of extinction. As phrased by Nick Colegrave, “sex releases the speed limit on evolution” (2002, p. 664). Most roads to extinction are long-term population-level processes, however, so this kind of argument appeals not as much to the differential fitnesses of individuals as to the differential extinctions of sexual versus asexual lineages.

Basically, this happens because any beneficial mutation in a gene tightly linked to other loci will necessarily drag along any deleterious alleles, at those other loci, with which it happened to be associated at the time of its origin. This population genetic phenomenon is variously referred to as “genetic draft” (Gillespie, 2000), the “hitchhiking process associated with selective sweeps” (Maynard Smith and Haigh, 1974), or the “Hill-Robertson effect” (Hill and Robertson, 1966). The reduced efficiency of natural selection in asexual populations, compared to sexual ones, is another reason to expect a long-term evolutionary advantage for sex.

Most roads to extinction are long-term population-level processes, however, so this kind of argument appeals not as much to the differential fitnesses of individuals as to the differential extinctions of sexual versus asexual lineages. , Fisher, 1930). Even if sexual reproduction does tend to promote long-term population survival, it should be remembered that genetic recombination on a generation-by-generation basis also inevitably produces many genetic disabilities and premature deaths (when some of the genotypes it randomly generates prove to be highly unfit).

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Clonality: The Genetics, Ecology, and Evolution of Sexual Abstinence in Vertebrate Animals by John Avise


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