🐢 Variation and sexual reproduction

Sexual versus asexual reproduction

 

Sexual reproduction has a few disadvantages compared to asexual reproduction. It requires more than just one individual to parent each offspring, rendering about half of the individuals unable to carry through the bearing of offspring, while allowing just half of each parent’s contribution to be inherited by their offspring.

 

The advantage that makes it significant enough to outweigh the disadvantages is increased diversity. With each generation, diversity is inevitably inscribed into offspring, and the sources of genetic variation maximised with each cross. In sexual reproduction, individuals are simply forced to mix by default. As such, even very accomplished parental genomes are inevitably disrupted.

 

 

The overall effect is a better position for responding to selection pressures, as exemplified by the Red Queen hypothesis where individuals rely on varied strategies to keep up with their parasites, predators, etc. Since the standard for fitness is ever-changing, a real time diversified gene pool is maintained in…