Re: Why Sex ?

Philos Anthropy (
Sun, 21 Dec 1997 03:05:45 -0600

Anders Sandberg wrote:

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> Philos Anthropy <> writes:
> > > Is conjugation that rare? I was on a lecture about how plasmids evolve
> > > (they are selfish replicators, after all, and do their best to
> > > maximize their fitness) and I got the impression they are sometimes
> > > almost littering the cellular environment.
> >
> > It may be more common than was portrayed in my Biochemistry book and
> > indicated by the professors I've had but it is biological "standard wisdom"
> > at least that bacteria usually reproduce asexually by mitotic division.
> Yes, nobody denies that. But I got the impression that plasmid
> exchanges are fairly common (at least so common that a beneficial gene
> such as antibiotics resistance can spread quite quickly through the
> population if needed).

I think that those bacteria that do not have antibiotic resistance all die out
and upwards of 90% may die out thus leaving plenty of resources/nutrients for
those few that do have such resistance. Thus it is still spreading primarily
asexually by "extinction" of those bacteria not as fit for survival. -Bill.

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