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Why protists live in celibacy

Sexuality is not made for propagation. During a mitotic division two exact copies are generated. During sex two cells merge into a new entity that is different from the parents. In a lengthy process, subsequently cells are generated that are all different, because the genes of father and mother are mixed and newly redistributed. For most protists that follow the strategy to generate large cell numbers, sex would be a disadvantage. They do not know sex.

Sex is more than mere propagation
asexuelle und sexuelle Vermehrung

During asexual propagation of two cells there will be four, after a second division, eight daughters that are exact copies of their parents. As a consequence of sex two cells are fused and their genes are mixed. At the end, there are only four cells and these are all different.(image Peter Nick) 

Topical Path Plant Sex

The flower of the Indian Lotus breaths mystery. On our topical path you learn more about the secrets of plant sex (image Karlheinz Knoch).


Whe we hear "sexuality", we think about men and women, love songs and mating rites – all these phenomena are not seen in plants. Do plants have sex? Oh yeah, but they do it secretly. Sex is even the core of evolutionary plant success. Only by sex plants were able to settle the barren land and render it a lifely place also for us. Reason enough to invest a look on plant sex:

  • A botanist fom Karlsruhe quests plant sex and finds the genes: What is the link of Zar Katharina the Great with genetics… more
  • Why Gender Mainstreaming does not make sense in plants: Plants are mostly hermaphroditic – why and how can bisexuality work? more
  • Sex and Crisis: Why plants always survived: Several times plants almost got extinct. Sex was their rescue… more
  • Lure, Fake, Torture: On the creativity of plant sex…: They pretend to be innocent – in reality they manipulate by all means… more
  • Sexual Symbiosis: The ultimate trick - how plants couple their own sexuality to that of animals... more