The evolution of obligate sex: The roles of sexual selection and recombination

Maya Kleiman, Lilach Hadany

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The evolution of sex is one of the greatest mysteries in evolutionary biology. An even greater mystery is the evolution of obligate sex, particularly when competing with facultative sex and not with complete asexuality. Here, we develop a stochastic simulation of an obligate allele invading a facultative population, where males are subject to sexual selection. We identify a range of parameters where sexual selection can contribute to the evolution of obligate sex: Especially when the cost of sex is low, mutation rate is high, and the facultative individuals do not reproduce sexually very often. The advantage of obligate sex becomes larger in the absence of recombination. Surprisingly, obligate sex can take over even when the population has a lower mean fitness as a result. We show that this is due to the high success of obligate males that can compensate the cost of sex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2572-2583
Number of pages12
JournalEcology and Evolution
Volume5
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2015

Keywords

  • Evolution of sex
  • Facultative sex
  • Obligate sex
  • Sexual selection
  • Simulation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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