Lost Sex

The Evolutionary Biology of Parthenogenesis

  • Isa Schön
  • Koen Martens
  • Peter Dijk

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Bengt O. Bengtsson
    Pages 1-19
  3. Stephanie Meirmans
    Pages 21-46
  4. Peter Van Dijk
    Pages 47-62
  5. Per Stenberg, Anssi Saura
    Pages 63-74
  6. Robert C. Vrijenhoek, E. Davis Parker Jr
    Pages 99-131
  7. Maurine Neiman, Britt Koskella
    Pages 133-159
  8. Koen Martens, Hugh D. Loxdale, Isa Schön
    Pages 187-200
  9. C. William Birky Jr, Timothy G. Barraclough
    Pages 201-216
  10. Isa Schön, Giampaolo Rossetti, Koen Martens
    Pages 217-240
  11. Michael Heethoff, Roy A. Norton, Stefan Scheu, Mark Maraun
    Pages 241-257
  12. David B. Mark Welch, Claudia Ricci, Matthew Meselson
    Pages 259-279
  13. Manuel Serra, Terry W. Snell
    Pages 281-294
  14. Ellen Decaestecker, Luc De Meester, Joachim Mergeay
    Pages 295-316
  15. Irene Mateo Leach, Bart A. Pannebakker, Maria Victoria Schneider, Gerard Driessen, Louis van de Zande, Leo W. Beukeboom
    Pages 347-375
  16. Dunja K. Lamatsch, Matthias Stöck
    Pages 399-432
  17. Christoph Vorburger, Dirk S. Schmeller, Hansjürg Hotz, Gaston-Denis Guex, Heinz-Ulrich Reyer
    Pages 433-446
  18. Michael Kearney, Matthew K. Fujita, Jessica Ridenour
    Pages 447-474
  19. Peter Van Dijk, Hans de Jong, Kitty Vijverberg, Arjen Biere
    Pages 475-493
  20. Jose M. Corral, Marcin Piwczynski, Tim F. Sharbel
    Pages 495-516
  21. Thierry De Meeûs, Franck Prugnolle, Philip Agnew
    Pages 517-533
  22. Pasqualino Loi, Grazyna Ptak, Robert Feil
    Pages 559-579
  23. Astrid Forneck, Andrej Benjak, Ernst Rühl
    Pages 581-598
  24. Back Matter
    Pages 599-615

About this book


Sex is the queen of problems in evolutionary biology. Generations of researchers have investigated one of the last remaining evolutionary paradoxes: why sex exists at all. Given that sexual reproduction is costly from an evolutionary point of view, one could wonder why not all animals and plants reproduce asexually. Dozens of contemporary hypotheses attempt to explain the prevalence of sex and its advantages and predict the early extinction of fully asexual lineages.

The major theme of this book is: what is the fate of animal and plant groups in which sex is lost? Initial chapters discuss theory behind asexual life: what major disadvantages do asexual groups have to face, what are the genetic and ecological consequences and what does this theory predict for more applied aspects of asexual life, for example in agricultural pests, diseases as well as in cultural crops such as grapes. Cases studies in many animals (focusing on both invertebrates and vertebrates) and plants reveal parallel, but also singularly novel adaptations to the absence of meiosis and syngamy. And last but not least, are asexuals really doomed to early extinction or do genuine ancient asexuals exist?

This book assembles contributions from the most important research groups dealing with asexual evolution in eukaryotes. It is a milestone in research on parthenogenesis and will be useful to undergraduate as well as graduate students and to senior researchers in all fields of evolutionary biology, as the paradox of sex remains its queen of problems.


Adaptation Charles Darwin Darwin Ecology Evolution Genetics Genotyp Mutation Parthogenesis eukaryote evolutionary biology

Editors and affiliations

  • Isa Schön
    • 1
  • Koen Martens
    • 2
  • Peter Dijk
    • 3
  1. 1.Natural SciencesRoyal Belgian Institute ofBruxellesBelgium
  2. 2.Sciences Department of FreshwaterRoyal Belgian Inst. of NaturalBruxellesBelgium
  3. 3.Keygene N.V.WageningenNetherlands

Bibliographic information