Asexual and sexual replication in sporulating organisms

Bohyun Lee, Emmanuel Tannenbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Replication via sporulation is the replication strategy for all multicellular life, and may even be observed in unicellular life (such as with budding yeast). We consider diploid populations replicating via one of two possible sporulation mechanisms. (1) Asexual sporulation, whereby adult organisms produce single-celled diploid spores that grow into adults themselves. (2) Sexual sporulation, whereby adult organisms produce single-celled diploid spores that divide into haploid gametes. The haploid gametes enter a haploid "pool," where they may recombine with other haploids to form a diploid spore that then grows into an adult. We consider a haploid fusion rate given by second-order reaction kinetics. We work with a simplified model where the diploid genome consists of only two chromosomes, each of which may be rendered defective with a single point mutation of the wild-type. We find that the asexual strategy is favored when the rate of spore production is high compared to the characteristic growth rate from a spore to a reproducing adult. Conversely, the sexual strategy is favored when the rate of spore production is low compared to the characteristic growth rate from a spore to a reproducing adult. As the characteristic growth time increases, or as the population density increases, the critical ratio of spore production rate to organism growth rate at which the asexual strategy overtakes the sexual one is pushed to higher values. Therefore, the results of this model suggest that, for complex multicellular organisms, sexual replication is favored at high population densities and low growth and sporulation rates.

Original languageEnglish
Article number021909
JournalPhysical Review E
Volume76
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 8 Aug 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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