Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 56, Issue 6, pp 770–777

A Case for the Extreme Antiquity of Recombination



Recombination is usually assumed to be a mode of reproduction that evolved long after asexual reproduction in response to specific genetic and environmental circumstances. Here the argument is made that recombination was an evolutionary development as ancient as the origins of life. To support this proposition four lines of evidence are given, in particular, the need for primordial genomes to acquire substantial length and to escape from Muller’s Ratchet.


Recombination Origins of life Origins of sex Muller’s Ratchet 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryPortland State University, P.O. Box 751, Portland, OR 97207USA

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