Asexual reproduction is found in many taxonomic groups and considerable effort has been directed by biologists towards understanding its mechanisms, evolution and ecological significance. This research monograph, which is the culmination of several years of research by the author, offers a though-provoking contribution to this debate. It is primarily aimed at biologists undertaking research into the evolution, genetic control and ecological costs and benefits of different patterns of reproduction, although it should also be of interest to senior undergraduates. The main aim of the book is to understand why asexual reproduction per se and its many different forms have very uneven distributions within and among different taxonomic groups. This is illustrated with reference to the major groups of extant land plants - the bryophytes, ferns, gymnosperms and angiosperms - although in his search for answers the author has made much use of insights gleaned from studies of asexuality in animals, and the arguments presented can be applied equally to both kingdoms.
In a series of seven chapters, it is shown how major differences between taxa in the frequency and form of asexual reproduction are due to differences in ontogeny and in fundamental aspects of reproductive ecology. These combine to exert a major influence on the probability of asexuality, or a particular pattern of asexual reproduction, evolving and undergoing favourable selection in a taxon. The author highlights the important role the male function plays in the spread and maintenance of asexuality in cosexual taxa, and illustrates how this function can overcome many of the ecological costs hitherto associated with asexual reproduction by providing a gene for asexuality with the means to move from genome to genome. The arguments presented lead the author to challenge current concepts of the evolutionary and ecological consequences of asexuality, with this part of the discussion culminating in a reappraisal of the role, and the reasons for the maintenance, of genetic recombination in sexual organisms.
Most biologists will find this text to be informational on the current concepts of the evolutionary and ecological consequences of asexuality...Tables and illustrations, references, and a taxonomic and subject index supplement this publication - Biological Abstracts; ... a cohesive, thought-provoking book... Mogies's contribution is a new perspective that will most certainly stimulate research and discussion on the odd and not uncommon phenomenon of obligate asexuality in plants. Plant Science Bulletin; Mogie's dichotomous key to the types of asexual reproduction in Chapter 2 is a good example of his carefully organized, logical approach to the topic. The diversity of background data employed to support the discussions struck me as creative and effective. Readers whose interests include evolutionary biology and especially plant evolutionary ecology will appreciate this book... the language is precise and occasionally even entertaining. I found the book to be well crafted and generally error free. Tables and figures were clear and useful. The effort and attention this book demanded of me was well rewarded; I found it stimulatind, and I recommend it - Ecology; In a book which contains a wealth of interesting and novel ideas, Michael Mogie hs carefully put together an impressive range of arguments to explain the evolution...This is a book that is undoubtedly essential reading for all who have a serious interest in factors that either maintain sexual reproduction or promote asexual reproduction in living organisms - New Phytologists; ...the refreshingly clear style of this book, with its regular pauses to summarize points which have been dealth with, is very welcome - Annals of Botany; ...Mogie's book may well be worth reading for anyone interested in a review of many observations about reproductive systems of plants. - Plant Genetics Newsletter
Prologue. Patterns of reproduction in bryophytes and tracheophytes. The costs, benefits and constraints of asexual reproduction in plants. Cosexuality, asexuality and the male function. The genetic control of apomixis. At the court of the red queen. Reflections. References. Index.