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Evolutionary advantage of sexual reproduction over asexual reproduction

opinion

By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie PolicyPrivacy Policyand our Terms of Service. Many animals species require two members — a male and a female — to sexually reproduce. Why has nature or the process of evolution chosen to favor the form of sexual reproduction which requires two members?

Variations are more viable in...

Why didn't nature encourage the form of sexual reproduction which involved three members? The reason for sexual reproduction being a better choice over asexual reproduction is justified by saying that sexual reproduction involves mixing of genetic information from two living beings and hence if one set of them had an error, the other would compensate for it.

With the same kind of reasoning, we can argue that sexual reproduction involving more than two organisms coming together would cause better genetic variation, shuffling of mutations, etc. However, most of the organisms as we see today have evolved to reproduce sexually using two beings of the same species.

There are two sexes: During the event of sexual reproduction, the male transfers 24 chromosomes to the female where the chromosomes from both the sexes are mixed to produce an offspring.

There are three sexes: During the event of sexual reproduction, each member transfers 16 chromosomes to the female where it gets mixed to produce an offspring. We don't observe sexual reproduction of type 2 or it is rare.

Doesn't the type-2 form of sexual reproduction cause better mixing of genetic information than type-1 form of sexual reproduction? Despite the aforementioned advantage, nature has chosen to encourage the type-1 form of sexual reproduction.

Your Answer

Why is the type-1 form of sexual reproduction more common than the type-2 form of sexual reproduction? Let's break it down: The chance that two individuals of distinct gender meet at one location in space time is tremendously higher than for three. We could do some math here assuming biased random walks of points in three classes on a 2d surface etc.

Therefore a random walk would be a reasonable first approximation for organism behavior to simulate the situation back then. Having two genders seemed to have been a good trade-off between the chance to meet and advantages in terms of mixing the genetic information. Note that this answer might not be valid for organisms being able to reproduce in both ways, sexual as well as asexual.

Quite simply two mates is simpler both functionally and logistically. That's three factors making two sexes statistically easier.

Asexual reproduction generates offspring that...

Also most sexual organisms do not have chromosome counts divisible by 3, some don't even have numbers evenly divisible by 2. There is still debate about why sex is favored at all, so it is difficult to go into greater detail for other possibilities, but it is far more likely for two individuals to cross paths than three or more, that alone would be enough for a selective pressure favoring two over three most of the time.

And of course not now most sexual organisms are built to handle that 2 individual mating they inherited and could not mechanically handle a third. Though some would disagree, sexual reproduction has distinct advantages over clonal reproduction specifically because it provides a way to shuffle homologous blocks of genes within a population. But increasing the number of parents required beyond two would not provide enough greater "shuffling" power to compensate for the logistical impediments to n-parent matings.

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of serviceprivacy policy and cookie policyand that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies. Questions Tags Users Badges Unanswered. Consider an animal species which has 24 pairs of chromosomes.

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