This One Tiny Animal Has Found a Way to Give Up Sex Completely, And Still Do Fine - ScienceAlert
Sep 25, 2021 54 secs

Known as the Meselson effect, named after Harvard geneticist Matthew Meselson, this mutation pattern could in theory be used to identify a diploid organism as a bona fide, long-term asexual species.

Some ancient lineages of species thought to be asexual have since been found to have only recent converts, or – scandalous as it is to suggest – have peppered their genes with the occasional licentious tryst over the eons.  .

What researchers needed was a strong, unambiguous signal of variation in genes in an animal suspected of having given up sex long, long ago, and never looked back.

nova – a little mite with sublineages that went their separate ways between 6 and 16 million years ago, suggesting it's a species that's been around for quite a while.

More importantly, it's a species known to be asexual, in contrast with others on its branch of the family tree, making it a prime specimen to study for evidence of the Meselson effect.

But the discovery of an animal that's managed to leave sex millions of years in the past does demonstrate it's possible to thrive without it


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