Evolutionary Advantage Found For Sex

What's love got to do with it? Try fitter genes.

In one of the first studies to scientifically prove an evolutionary advantage for sex, a researcher at Wake Forest University reports in the July 31 issue of the journal Nature that sex helps weed out harmful genetic mutations, increasing a population's genetic fitness.

Clifford Zeyl, assistant professor of biology at Wake Forest University, said that his studies of sexual reproduction in brewer's yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, have found that sexual populations are better at removing undesirable genetic mutations than single-sexed yeast.

"Why sex evolved is one of the big unanswered questions of evolutionary biology," Zeyl says. "This is one of the first examples of finding an evolutionary advantage for sex.

"Vertebrates are almost all sexual, and the persistence of sexual reproduction is one of the great mysteries of evolution. This might be an explanation for why we turned out to be sexual and why we evolved to have two parents instead of just cloning ourselves."

Genetically speaking, sexuality is more than a little messy, Zeyl admits. Why go to the trouble of disrupting such precisely constructed genetic complexes if you can only transmit half of your genes to your children? After all, asexual organisms can pass on all of their genes to subsequent generations of clones.

One other explanation for the evolutionary benefit of sex was that it produces novel and interesting genetic combinations required for adapting to environmental changes. But Zeyl and colleague Graham Bell of McGill University in Montreal found that wasn't the case with yeast. Sexually active yeast fared no better in new environments than asexual yeast.

"In most respects, cloning is a much more efficient way of reproduction," Zeyl says, "but if you have a whole population of organisms who are sexual, it appears more likely that they will carry around fewer mutations. S

Contact: Wayne Thompson
Wake Forest University

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Evolutionary Genomics meeting in Tucson
2. Evolutionary speed limit governs how quickly life bounces back after extinction
3. Evolutionary change leapfrogs over tadpoles
4. Evolutionary implications: myoglobin-like proteins found in ancient microorganisms
5. Evolutionary genetic tools trace cancer clone lines
6. Genetic Stowaways May Contribute To Evolutionary Change: Adjacent Sequences Tag Along With Mobile DNA Elements, Study Shows
7. Fruit-Fly Mating May Produce A Game Of Evolutionary Leapfrog
8. University Of Cincinnati Geologists Analyzes Evolutionary Impact Of Mass Extinctions
9. Tiny Jamaican Tree Crab Made Big And Fast Evolutionary Leap, Scientists Discover
10. Brown ecologist garners major National Science Foundation grant
11. APS Foundation names student travel award recipients

Post Your Comments:

(Date:7/2/2020)... ... July 01, 2020 , ... AltruBio Inc. http://www.altrubio.com , ... biologic for the treatment of steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease (SR-aGVHD), at European Hematology ... Martin of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, this single-arm, open-label Phase 1 ...
(Date:7/1/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... July 01, 2020 , ... ... that it had completed the purchase of Teva-Takeda Pharmaceuticals’ packaging facility in Minakuchi, ... company’s existing Japanese clinical supply facility located in Kakegawa, the new 60,000-square-foot facility ...
(Date:6/28/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, ... ... of enterprise software solutions for biopharmaceutical R&D, today announced that it has ... developing innovative, full-length multispecific antibodies (Multiclonics®), to support their translational and clinical ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/18/2020)... ... ... After research model surgery and catheter implantation, the long journey of catheter maintenance ... a successful study, while protecting and accessing the catheter or device post-surgery is often ... Envigo in a live webinar on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 ...
(Date:7/18/2020)... DAYTON, Ohio (PRWEB) , ... July 16, 2020 ... ... clinical data solutions to aid in the early detection and prevention of high-burden ... partnership to enable US-based hospitals and healthcare organizations to utilize existing data in ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... ... 08, 2020 , ... Bode Technology, a leading ... operations through its COVID-19 testing service, Bode-CARES . Bode-CARES combines high-volume clinical ... provides a turnkey solution that includes a comprehensive collection and virus-management program ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... ... July 09, 2020 , ... In ... commonly used to suppress pigment formation in zebrafish embryos, maintaining optical transparency to ... by Dr MA has been using the zebrafish model to investigate the causes ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: