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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Sexual selection and the evolution of obligatory sex

Lilach Hadany* and Tuvik Beker

Author Affiliations

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA

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BMC Evolutionary Biology 2007, 7:245  doi:10.1186/1471-2148-7-245

Published: 20 December 2007



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 Conclusion

We show that when sexual selection is present obligatory sex can evolve and be maintained even against facultative sex, under common scenarios of deleterious mutations and environmental changes.