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, 6 (6), 325-8

Have Sex or Not? Lessons From Bacteria

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Have Sex or Not? Lessons From Bacteria

T Lodé. Sex Dev.

Abstract

Sex is one of the greatest puzzles in evolutionary biology. A true meiotic process occurs only in eukaryotes, while in bacteria, gene transcription is fragmentary, so asexual reproduction in this case really means clonal reproduction. Sex could stem from a signal that leads to increased reproductive output of all interacting individuals and could be understood as a secondary consequence of primitive metabolic reactions. Meiotic sex evolved in proto-eukaryotes to solve a problem that bacteria did not have, namely a large amount of DNA material, occurring in an archaic step of proto-cell formation and genetic exchanges. Rather than providing selective advantages through reproduction, sex could be thought of as a series of separate events which combines step-by-step some very weak benefits of recombination, meiosis, gametogenesis and syngamy.

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