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The Evolution of Haploid-Diploid Life Cycles
Edited by: Mark Kirkpatrick

Lectures on Mathematics in the Life Sciences
1994; 134 pp; softcover
Volume: 25
ISBN-10: 0-8218-1176-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-8218-1176-4
List Price: US$40
Member Price: US$32
Order Code: LLSCI/25
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The haploid-diploid alternation of generation is among the most fundamental features of eukaryotic life. Until recently, however, little research had been done on the origin and evolution of this genetic system. Bringing together for the first time emerging empirical and theoretical perspectives on this topic, this volume contains the proceedings of the 1993 Symposium on Some Mathematical Questions in Biology: The Evolution of Haploid-Diploid Life Cycles, held in June 1993 in Snowbird, Utah. The volume opens with a broad survey of life forms which reveals a wide diversity of life cycles, including predominantly haploid cycles, predominantly diploid cycles, and mixed cycles. Mathematical models attempt to explain this diversity in terms of evolutionary forces that include deleterious mutation, advantageous mutation, and ecological selection. A review of the first experimental studies shows how the hypotheses suggested by the models may ultimately be resolved. The book introduces biologists to mathematical approaches to these problems and introduces mathematical biologists to comparative and experimental approaches. Opportunities for future research are highlighted throughout.

Individual members of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics and the Society for Mathematical Biology may order at the individual member prices.


Population geneticists, mathematical biologists, comparative biologists, and experimental geneticists.

Table of Contents

  • G. Bell -- The comparative biology of the alternation of generations
  • A. S. Kondrashov -- Gradual origin of amphimixis by natural selection
  • C. D. Jenkins and M. Kirkpatrick -- Deleterious mutation and ecological selection in the evolution of life cycles
  • S. P. Otto -- The role of deleterious and beneficial mutations in the evolution of ploidy levels
  • R. E. Michod and T. Gayley -- Genetic error, heterozygosity and the evolution of the sexual life cycle
  • V. Perrot -- Experimental approaches to the evolution of life cycles
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