Muller's ratchet and the accumulation of favourable mutations
Under the influence of recurrent deleterious mutation and selection, asexual and sexual populations reach a deterministic equilibrium with individuals carrying 0,1,2,. . . harmful mutations. When a favourable mutation (a→A) occurs in an asexual population it will usually occur in an individual who has one or more (k) deleterious mutations. Muller's ratchet then applies as A will thereafter never occur in an individual with less than k mutations. If the selective advantage of A is less than the selective disadvantage of k harmful mutations then A will not spread. If it is greater it may spread carrying k deleterious mutations to fixation. Sexual populations are not affected in this way. A will spread through the population experiencing genomes with 0,1,2,. . . deleterious mutations in accordance with the deterministic equilibrium.