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Disentangling the Benefits of Sex

  • Denis Roze mail

    roze@sb-roscoff.fr

    Affiliations: CNRS, UMR 7144, Station Biologique de Roscoff, Roscoff, France, UPMC University Paris 6, Roscoff, France

    X
  • Published: May 01, 2012
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001321

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Not even wrong?

Posted by BobOH on 02 May 2012 at 08:16 GMT

cost of sex”): in many species, males do not provide any resource to the next generation, yet sexual females typically invest half of their resources into the production of males. Everything else being equal, this generates a 2-fold advantage for asexual females (producing only fe
http://plosbiology.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pbio.1001321#article1.body1.sec1.boxed-text1.sec1.p1

No! The cost of sex arises because each parent only passes on half of their DNA, whereas an individual reproducing asexually passes all of it on.

No competing interests declared.

RE: Not even wrong?

DRoze replied to BobOH on 03 May 2012 at 17:07 GMT

The so-called "twofold cost of sex" is a consequence of anisogamy (or more generally lower investment by males in terms of resources) and not of "genome dilution". This may be seen in the extreme case of an asexual mutation arising in a fully sexual population. Each sexual individual transmits only half of its genome to each offspring, but the other half of the offspring's genome is received from another sexual parent, and so there is no dilution at the locus controlling sex. This can be formalized more rigorously in a mathematical model, showing that with equal investment by both sexes in terms of resources, there is no automatic advantage for asexuals. The cost of genome dilution only operates if asexual individuals continue to produce males (or male gametes) that can fertilize ovules (which happens in some species). On this issue, see the recent paper by Lehtonen, Jennions & Kokko, Trends Ecol. Evol. 27:172-178.

No competing interests declared.