Sex or no sex: evolutionary adaptation occurs regardless

Michael F Seidl, Bart P H J Thomma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


All species continuously evolve to adapt to changing environments. The genetic variation that fosters such adaptation is caused by a plethora of mechanisms, including meiotic recombination that generates novel allelic combinations in the progeny of two parental lineages. However, a considerable number of eukaryotic species, including many fungi, do not have an apparent sexual cycle and are consequently thought to be limited in their evolutionary potential. As such organisms are expected to have reduced capability to eliminate deleterious mutations, they are often considered as evolutionary dead ends. However, inspired by recent reports we argue that such organisms can be as persistent as organisms with conventional sexual cycles through the use of other mechanisms, such as genomic rearrangements, to foster adaptation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-45
Number of pages11
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • DNA Repair
  • Daphnia/genetics
  • Eukaryotic Cells/physiology
  • Female
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genome
  • Genome, Fungal
  • Male
  • Meiosis
  • Mitosis
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Reproduction/genetics
  • Reproduction, Asexual/genetics
  • Verticillium/genetics


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