Asexual reproduction: Genetics and evolutionary aspects


Reproduction is essential to all organisms if they are to contribute to the next generation. There are various means and ways of achieving this goal. This review focuses on the role of asexual reproduction for eukaryotic organisms and how its integration in a life cycle can influence their population genetics and evolution. An important question for evolutionary biologists as to why some organisms reproduce sexually, as opposed to asexually, is addressed. We also discuss the economic and medical importance of asexual organisms.

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Correspondence to T. de Meeûs.

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Received 4 December 2006; received after revision 25 January 2007; accepted 20 February 2007

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de Meeûs, T., Prugnolle, F. & Agnew, P. Asexual reproduction: Genetics and evolutionary aspects. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 64, 1355–1372 (2007).

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  • Asexual
  • vegetative
  • parthenogenesis
  • clonality
  • reproduction
  • population genetics
  • evolution