Russian Journal of Genetics

, 41:1081 | Cite as

The Uncertainty of “Fitness”: What Prevents Understanding of the Role of Genetic Exchange

  • V. V. Sukhodolets
Theoretical Papers and Reviews


The evolutionary development of highly organized species is attained through an increase in average survival of individuals, whereas the evolution of primitive species involves only an increase in fecundity (Zavadsky, 1968). However, in population genetics, survival (or ecological resistance) and fecundity are regarded as components of a single character, fitness. Employment of the notion of fitness, which lacks a strict definition, hinders understanding of the mechanism of progressive evolution as the process that enhances ecological resistance of organisms. The notion of fitness also hinders understanding the role of genetic exchange, since the primary advantage of genetic recombination and sexual reproduction apparently is producing of progeny with high ecological resistance rather than with high genetic diversity as such. Thus, the regular genetic exchange ensures restoration of the level of ecological resistance characteristic for the species, and on the macroevolutionary scale leads to the formation of new genomes and new species with high ecological resistance.


Genetic Diversity Population Genetic Sexual Reproduction High Genetic Diversity Average Survival 
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Copyright information

© MAIK "Nauka/Interperiodica" 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. V. Sukhodolets
    • 1
  1. 1.State Research Institute of Genetics and Selection of Industrial MicroorganismsMoscowRussia

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