No sex, no problem!

Sexual reproduction is linked to various benefits for the survival of a species. Amongst others, sex counters the accumulation of accidentally occurring deleterious mutations by allowing for exchange of genetic material. According to the scientific consensus, loss of sex in favour of clonal reproduction leads to a stepwise accumulation of deleterious mutations, which eventually causes extinction of a species. Now scientists of the Universities of Göttingen and Lausanne found out, that ancient asexual oribatid mites are more effective in purging deleterious mutations as compared to their sexual relatives. The results are reported in the current issue of Nature Communications. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)