Genomic signatures and consequences of sex and asexuality

Sex, including outcrossing with meiosis, is by far the most common form of reproduction in eukaryotes. However, under similar ecological and genetic conditions, an individual undergoing asexual reproduction without outcrossing, will generate more offspring (each of which is itself capable of generating offspring) than a sexual sibling. It is thought that this cost of sex is offset by the benefits conferred by the exchange of genetic material, thus avoiding mutational meltdown (Muller’s ratchet) and genomic decay. Sexual reproduction is realised in an impressive array of different strategies. Still, asexual species are found on terminal branches in many unrelated clades throughout the eukaryotic tree of life. The availability of high quality phased genomes only now allows us, to study the genomic underpinnings of transitions in reproductive modes, to compare the long-term effects of sex and asexuality on genomes, and to analyse the functional mechanisms of the loss and even regain of sex. In this two half-days symposium we will invite speakers working on genomic aspects of sex and asexuality in organisms across the eukaryotic tree of life and invite talks on
- genomics and genomic models of the drivers of loss of sex/gain of sex
- analyses of the consequences of loss of sex on the genomic level
- genomic changes accompanying transitions in reproductive systems such as from unisexual
or hermaphroditic to separate sexes, or from environmental sex determination to genetic sex determination
Since this field is actively developing with controversial opinions, we also would like to offer open discussion times in form of break-out rooms targeting the challenges in the field of the evolution of sex. For more information see

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