Ecology and Evolution of Polyembryony

  • Kikuo Iwabuchi
Part of the Entomology Monographs book series (ENTMON)


Sexual reproduction is the most common mode of reproduction in many multicellular organisms, including insects. The evolutionary success of sexual reproduction has been attributed to the generation of variation among offspring, which is important for the survival and future reproduction of the population. Consequently, populations that reproduce sexually can leave more offspring than those that reproduce asexually. This variation is created by the development of heritable mutations in the germ-cell lines in sexually reproducing organisms. These mutations are continuously reshuffled by the mixing and recombination of genes from two parents and are transferred to the next generation. More importantly, sexual reproduction will also eliminate accumulated, often harmful, alterations in the DNA that occur during meiosis and recombination—that is, individuals with harmful genes are unable to pass their genes to the next generation as a result of natural selection. On the other hand, the harmless portion of genes that are created during the process of meiosis from the harmful mutated genes may increase the chance of survival. By contrast, asexual reproduction results in the transfer of the full maternal genotype, which must be optimal in the present environment, and so asexually reproducing individual can successfully colonize new habitats and develop immediately (Williams 1975).


Sex ratio Sex allocation Host quality Brood size Evolution of development Heterochrony 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kikuo Iwabuchi
    • 1
  1. 1.Tokyo University of Agriculture and TechnologyFuchuJapan

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