Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Amazon fish challenges mutation idea

By Jonathan BallBBC News
13 February 2018

Evolutionary theory suggests that species favouring asexual reproduction will rapidly become extinct, as their genomes accumulate deadly mutations over time.

But a study on an Amazon fish has cast doubt on the rapidity of this decline.

Despite thousands of years of asexual reproduction, the genomes of the Amazon molly fish are remarkably stable and the species has survived.

Details of the work have been published in Nature Ecology and Evolution.

There are two fundamental ways in which new generations of life come to being - sexual and asexual reproduction.

Sexual reproduction relies on special reproductive male and female sex cells, the eggs and sperm, joining together during the process of fertilisation.

Each sex cell contains half the number of chromosomes of normal parent cells, then following fertilisation, when the egg and sperm fuse, the normal cell chromosome number is reinstated.
Asexual reproduction is different.

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