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The frequency of sex in fungi
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Evolutionary Biology.
Univ Michigan, Dept Ecol & Evolutionary Biol, 830 North Univ, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA..
2016 (English)In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8436, E-ISSN 1471-2970, Vol. 371, no 1706, 20150540Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Fungi are a diverse group of organisms with a huge variation in reproductive strategy. While almost all species can reproduce sexually, many reproduce asexually most of the time. When sexual reproduction does occur, large variation exists in the amount of in- and out-breeding. While budding yeast is expected to outcross only once every 10 000 generations, other fungi are obligate outcrossers with well-mixed panmictic populations. In this review, we give an overview of the costs and benefits of sexual and asexual reproduction in fungi, and the mechanisms that evolved in fungi to reduce the costs of either mode. The proximate molecular mechanisms potentiating outcrossing and meiosis appear to be present in nearly all fungi, making them of little use for predicting outcrossing rates, but also suggesting the absence of true ancient asexual lineages. We review how population genetic methods can be used to estimate the frequency of sex in fungi and provide empirical data that support a mixed mode of reproduction in many species with rare to frequent sex in between rounds of mitotic reproduction. Finally, we highlight how these estimates might be affected by the fungus-specific mechanisms that evolved to reduce the costs of sexual and asexual reproduction. This article is part of the themed issue 'Weird sex: the underappreciated diversity of sexual reproduction'.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 371, no 1706, 20150540
Keyword [en]
mating systems, inbreeding, sex, asexual reproduction, linkage disequilibrium, Ascomycota
National Category
Botany Evolutionary Biology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-306037DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2015.0540ISI: 000383507000012OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-306037DiVA: diva2:1039907
NIH (National Institute of Health), AI105167-02Carl Tryggers foundation
Available from: 2016-10-25 Created: 2016-10-24 Last updated: 2016-10-25Bibliographically approved

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Nieuwenhuis, Bart P. S.
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