Understanding Evolution: your one-stop source for information on evolution
Resource library Teaching materials Evolution 101
 
EVOLUTION 101

Introduction

Patterns

Mechanisms

Microevolution

Speciation

Macroevolution

The big issues

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Sex and genetic shuffling

Shuffling of
	  gene combinations
 
Sex can introduce new gene combinations into a population and is an important source of genetic variation.

You probably know from experience that siblings are not genetically identical to their parents or to each other (except, of course, for identical twins). That's because when organisms reproduce sexually, some genetic "shuffling" occurs, bringing together new combinations of genes. For example, you might have bushy eyebrows and a big nose since your mom had genes associated with bushy eyebrows and your dad had genes associated with a big nose. These combinations can be good, bad, or neutral. If your spouse is wild about the bushy eyebrows/big nose combination, you were lucky and hit on a winning combination!

This shuffling is important for evolution because it can introduce new combinations of genes every generation. However, it can also break up "good" combinations of genes.



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Development


Mechanisms
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More details
Read more about the recombination of genes in reproduction.


Evo examples
Learn more about recombination in context: Evolution in the fast lane?, a news brief with discussion questions.