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The advantage of sexual reproduction remains a puzzle for evolutionary biologists. Everything else being equal, asexual populations are expected to have twice the number of offspring produced by similar sexual populations. Yet, asexual species are uncommon among higher eukaryotes. In models assuming small populations, high mutation rates, or frequent(More)
BACKGROUND Among the long-standing conundrums of evolutionary theory, obligatory sex is one of the hardest. Current theory suggests multiple factors that might explain the benefits of sex when compared with complete asexuality, but no satisfactory explanation for the prevalence of obligatory sex in the face of facultative sexual reproduction. RESULTS AND(More)
The adaptive value of recombination remains something of a puzzle. One of the basic problems is that recombination not only creates new and advantageous genetic combinations, but also breaks down existing good ones. A negative correlation between the fitness of an individual and its recombination rate would result in prolonged integrity of fitter genetic(More)
Facultatively sexual organisms often engage in sex more often when in poor condition. We show that such condition-dependent sex carries evolutionary advantages and can explain the evolution of sexual reproduction even when sex entails high costs. Specifically, we show that alleles promoting individuals of low fitness to have sex more often than individuals(More)
In bacterial, yeast, and human cells, stress-induced mutation mechanisms are induced in growth-limiting environments and produce non-adaptive and adaptive mutations. These mechanisms may accelerate evolution specifically when cells are maladapted to their environments, i.e., when they are are stressed. One mechanism of stress-induced mutagenesis in(More)
In many groups of organisms the location of settling is determined by competition, and fitter individuals tend to settle closer to their natal territory than less fit ones. In this work we study the implications of this phenomenon to the problem of adaptation and speciation on a rugged adaptive landscape. One consequence of fitness-associated dispersal(More)
Recent modeling has shown that condition-dependent sex can evolve much more readily than sex that occurs at a uniform rate, even in the face of substantial costs of sex. Specifically, evolution favors genes that cause organisms to allocate more resources to sexual reproduction when they are in poor condition and to asexual reproduction--including increased(More)
Because mutations are mostly deleterious, mutation rates should be reduced by natural selection. However, mutations also provide the raw material for adaptation. Therefore, evolutionary theory suggests that the mutation rate must balance between adaptability-the ability to adapt-and adaptedness-the ability to remain adapted. We model an asexual population(More)
BACKGROUND Antibiotic resistance in bacterial infections is a growing threat to public health. Recent evidence shows that when exposed to stressful conditions, some bacteria perform higher rates of horizontal gene transfer and mutation, and thus acquire antibiotic resistance more rapidly. METHODS We incorporate this new notion into a mathematical model(More)