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The Evolution of Sex Determination$
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Leo W. Beukeboom and Nicolas Perrin

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199657148

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199657148.001.0001

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The diversity of sexual cycles

The diversity of sexual cycles

(p.18) Chapter 2 The diversity of sexual cycles
The Evolution of Sex Determination

Leo W. Beukeboom

Nicolas Perrin

Oxford University Press

The sexual cycles of eukaryotes vary immensely in terms of the relative importance of the haploid and diploid phases, the differentiation between gametes, and the timing and mode of sex determination. The chapter discusses the evolutionary advantages of haploid and diploid phases, the conditions for the maintenance of haplo-diplontic cycles, and the role of disruptive selection in the evolution from isogamy to anisogamy and oogamy. The chapter proposes a typology for sexual cycles based on the relative importance of haploid and diploid phase, whether sex is determined at the haploid or diploid stage, and whether the initial trigger is genetic or epigenetic. The chapter develops the concepts of heterothallism versus homothallism, haplo- versus diplo-genotypic sex determination, dioicy versus dioecy, monoicy versus monoecy, self-incompatibility systems and secondary mating types. The chapter considers the diversity of epigenetic sex-determination systems (mating-type switching, simultaneous and sequential hermaphroditism, as well as environmental, social, maternal, or parasite control of sex determination) and discusses the ultimate and proximate causes favouring their evolution, as well as their likely role in transitions from haplo- to diplo-genotypic sex determination.The electronic addendum of this chapter (Section 2.2) describes in more detail the diversity and phylogenetic distribution of sex-determination types among extant eukaryotes.

Keywords:   sexual cycle, haploidy, diploidy, sexes, mating type, genotypic sex determination, environmental sex determination, hermaphroditism, epigenetic sex differentiation, self-incompatibility

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