Ever imagined what would have happened if living entities were unable to reproduce? There would be no continuity of life and the concept of mortality. Reproduction is one of the most fundamental and basic life processes carried out by living entities. It is an important characteristic exhibited by them and serves as a fundamental biological process for the ever-flourishing diversity and continuation of species.
Through the process of reproduction, younger ones are produced by receiving genetic information from their parents. After reaching sexual maturity, the offsprings go through the same cycle of life producing new offsprings. This process increases the species population and it serves as a medium for organic evolution through the conveyance of beneficial variations of the offsprings.
Types of Reproduction
Reproduction can be carried out by two means:
● Sexual Reproduction
In sexual reproduction, new offsprings are produced by passing genetic information through the involvement of two individuals from the opposite sexes. This type of reproduction involves the fusion of male and female gametes to form the zygote in the event of fertilization, in higher animals typically.
In a few algae and plants, alteration of generations takes place wherein two phases are involved, the gametophyte and the sporophyte phase. The gametophyte is a sexual phase involving gamete production, it is a haploid phase whereas the sporophyte is a nonsexual and diploid phase involving spore production which, in the future would lead to the gametophyte phase.
● Asexual Reproduction
In asexual reproduction, new offsprings are produced by a single parent. There is no event of fertilization hence the offsprings are identical to their parent with little to no diversity as opposed to sexual reproduction.
5 Types of Asexual Reproduction
Different species produce differently, there are various types of reproduction. Listed below are the types of asexual reproduction.
1. Binary Fission
The process wherein a few protozoans and prokaryotes replicate the content of their cells internally and are later subjected to the division are termed as binary fission. These cells form distinct individuals and separate themselves. Single cells have now developed into two mature and developed cells with genetically identical properties.
The process of budding is observed in yeasts and a few viruses wherein a completely new individual outgrows on an existing entity. As opposed to fission where the division of an existing entity takes places, budding sees the development of new entity on the parent body due to continuous cell division at a particular site forming an outgrowth or a bud like structure which later detached from the parent body to exist as a separate individual.
Typically observed in multicellular entities, in this type of asexual reproduction, an organism splits into fragments wherein each of these fragments individually develops into a mature individual.
4. Spore Formation
Usually observed in bacteria and flowering plants, in this type of reproduction, the parent body produces multiple tiny spores which later develop to grow into new plants.
5. Vegetative Reproduction
In this type of reproduction, a new plant is grown from different parts of a plant such as a stem, roots, bulb, leaves, etc. Some of the most common forms of vegetative propagation are cutting, grafting, layering, suckering, tissue culture, stolon formation, etc.
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