Acta Biotheoretica 48 (2):137-147 (2000)
Using computer simulations I studied the simultaneous effect of variable environments, mutation rates, ploidy, number of loci subject to evolution and random and assortative mating on various reproductive systems. The simulations showed that mutants for sex and recombination are evolutionarily stable, displacing alleles for monosexuality in diploid populations mating assortatively under variable selection pressure. Assortative mating reduced excessive allelic variance induced by recombination and sex, especially among diploids. Results suggest a novel adaptive value for sex and recombination. They show that the adaptive value of diploidy and that of the segregation of sexes is different to that of sex and recombination. The results suggest that the emergence of sex had to be preceded by the emergence of diploid monosexual organisms and provide an explanation for the emergence and maintenance of sex among diploids and for the scarcity of sex among haploid organisms.
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