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Thread: Evolution of Sexual Reproducing Organisms, mutations

  1. #1 Evolution of Sexual Reproducing Organisms, mutations 
    Forum Masters Degree Golkarian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    When using this simulator:

    I found that sexually reproducing organisms adapted faster to there environment when mutations are allowed for a certain amount of time, then suddenly stopped, does that sound accurate?

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  3. #2  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Yes. When organisms sexually reproduce you have a larger gene pool to work with (male and female DNA) whereas when you have an asexually reproducing organism, only its DNA is passed on to the next generation. With more genes in the gene pool, natural selection has more to work with, so to speak. Recombination provides alleles that are not necessarily available to an asexually produced individual. Sexually reproducing organisms have the capacity to evolve favorable traits more quickly, and thus evolve faster than asexual organisms. Think of it this way. If an asexual individual has genes A, B, C, and D it can only pass on genes A, B, C, and D to its progeny. However, if two sexually reproducing organisms get together, and one has genes A, B, C and D and the other has genes E, F, G and H then the sexually reproducing organisms have a greater variety of genes that can be passed on, and thus the chances of the progeny successfully adapting to the environment are greater.

    As far as stopping the mutations in your simulation, remember that evolution is a constantly occurring process- the environment is constantly changing, and the organisms within that environment are either changing with it or dying out. If mutations were to "stop" suddenly, the environment would eventually become inhospitable to the organisms living in it, and they would either migrate or die out. Try stopping mutations and running the simulation for a longer period of time afterward (natural selection and evolution are constantly occurring, but usually occur at very slow rates relative to a human life). I'm fairly confident you will get these results.

    *Please note I am a bio student, not a professor or anything exceptional like that. This is how I understand the properties of sexual and asexual repro in relation to evolution and natural selection- there is a chance I could be wrong!

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