Biology as Poetry: Life's Diversity

Bacteriophage Ecology Group

Clonal Organism

Lineages that reproduce solely by asexual means.

Contrast of course those lineages which display periodic sexual reproduction or which instead are obligately sexual in their reproduction.

Despite this suggestion of a dichotomy, note that even clonal organisms are subject to horizontal gene transfer. Thus, the clonality of most clonal lineages really is just a matter of degree, ranging from either zero or very little recombination within some lineages, on the one hand (e.g., Mycobacterium tuberculosis or mitochondria), to gene exchange that occurs with every reproductive episode, i.e., as one sees with obligately sexual organisms such as ourselves.

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