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The Theory of EvolutionPrinciples, Concepts, and Assumptions$
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Samuel M. Scheiner and David P. Mindell

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226671024

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226671338.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

The Evolution of Sex

The Evolution of Sex

(p.273) Fourteen The Evolution of Sex
The Theory of Evolution

Maria E. Orive

University of Chicago Press

The theory of the evolution of sex is one of the richest and most quantitatively sophisticated bodies of theory within evolutionary biology. While briefly introducing other biological phenomena described by the term “sex”, this chapter focuses on the theory of recombination. After a discussion of what is meant by the “cost of sex”, the chapter contrasts the two main theoretical approaches taken to explore the evolution of genetic recombination: optimality theory and modifier theory. Key optimality models are considered, such as the Fisher-Muller model, Muller’s ratchet, and the Red Queen model. Models of modifiers of recombination necessarily consider both short-term selection on offspring fitness and long-term selection on population fitness. At the core of modern theory for the evolution of sex is the build-up and break-down of linkage equilibrium, and the role that negative linkage disequilibrium plays in favoring the evolution of recombination. The roles that population structure, genetic drift, epistasis, genomic architecture, and fitness landscapes play in the evolution of sex are discussed, as well as advances in understanding provided by genetic computer algorithms. Finally, the chapter asks what the study of asexuality and of organisms lacking recombination can tell us about the evolution of sex and recombination.

Keywords:   cost of sex, Fisher-Muller model, Red Queen model, recombination, Muller’s ratchet, modifier theory, evolutionary rate, linkage disequilibrium, epistasis, clonal interference

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