Any process that forms an offspring cell from more than a single parent, bypassing standard meiosis and fertilization. In fungi, for example, diploid nuclei arise from rare fusions of two genetically unlike nuclei in heterokaryons. Somatic crossing over occurs, and eventually haploid nuclei showing new combinations of genes are formed from the diploids (See Chronology, 1952, Pontecorvo and Roper). In viruses, parasexual recombination can occur if genetically different mutant strains multiply in a host cell after it has been infected by viruses of both types (see Visconti-Delbrück hypothesis). In bacteria, there are three phenomena that can lead to parasexual recombination: conjugation, transduction, and transformation (all of which see). Also see sexduction, transfection.
Subjects: Genetics and Genomics.