Amongst topics in biology in which transmission of genetic material from parent to progeny is discussed is sexual reproduction. We may all have an understanding of the vertical transfer of genetic information from parent to offspring that occurs with sexual reproduction, but it is worth noting that horizontal gene transfer also occurs with sexual reproduction. The horizontal gene transfer occurs between the separate cell lineages of the mother and the father. As you might have learned already, this genetic exchange typically only occurs between members of the same species, i.e. humans to humans, dogs to dogs, etc. In this type of gene transfer, the result is individuals who are more closely related to one set of relatives with respect to some genes, and the same for another set of relatives with respect to other genes (Alberts et al. 2014).
Sexual production is common in many organisms across history. Even bacteria engage in a form of sexual reproduction from time to time, of course with members of their own species. Sexual reproduction is extremely common among eukaryotes. However, like most things, it is not universal. Scientific knowledge has it that natural selection has favored organisms that engage in sexual reproduction. However, as of right now, evolutionary theorists have not agreed on what the precise selective advantage is for those organisms (Alberts et al. 2014).
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