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Sex and the origin of genetic exchanges

Author(s): Thierry Lodé

Journal: Trends in Evolutionary Biology
ISSN 2036-2641

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: e1;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: asexual reproduction | eukaryotes | horizontal gene transfer | meiosis | sex origin | libertine bubble theory

Sex refers to any biological process selected for genetic exchange but the reason for why sex is so common in Eukaryotes continues to resist understanding. Bacteria appear to adapt and proliferate despite the fact that they lack genes for sex. To understand why sex has evolved, we must answer two crucial questions: i) what are the key differences between eukaryotes and bacteria and ii) why do some eukaryotes use asexual reproduction. Recently, new ideas about the evolution of sex are being proposed which point out that sex and recombination could be the result of very primitive interactions.
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