Have you ever wondered how single cell organisms reproduce? They are not animals, so they do not lay eggs or gestate surely? So let us learn how do such organism and event some plants reproduce. Let us educate ourselves about asexual reproduction and modes of asexual reproduction.
One of the characteristic features of all living organisms is the ability to reproduce. After all, for a species to continue there has to be offspring. Otherwise, it will simply end there. Reproduction is a process through which the cycle of life is maintained. A species gives rise to its offspring, which in turn gives rise to its offspring, continuing this life cycle.
Thus, reproduction enables continuity of generations. But, do all species reproduce in the same way? Obviously not! There is a huge diversity of the species that live on the earth. So, even the way they reproduce is different. When an offspring is produced by a single parent, it is called asexual reproduction. If two parents are involved, then it is called sexual reproduction.
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When new individuals form from the cells of a single parent, then this mode of reproduction is called asexual reproduction. Here the offspring that is produced is identical and are copies of the parent. These similar looking individual, both genetically and morphologically are called clones.
Asexual reproduction is quite commonly resent in different living organisms. It is seen in both plants and animals. It is common in the case of single-celled organisms. The lower order of animals and plants show this mode of reproduction, which has a simple body organization.
Here, a single parent is involved, without the involvement of the fertilization process. There is a rapid multiplication and growth that is seen, occurring in a small period of time. The offspring are genetically similar.
Modes of Asexual Reproduction
Asexual reproduction can occur in various modes. These are discussed below.
- Binary Fission: One of the modes of asexual reproduction is binary fission. Mostly seen in single-celled organisms, the cell divides into two halves. Each half grows at a rapid pace to become an adult. Examples are Amoeba, Paramecium.
- Fragmentation: In some multicellular organisms such as Spirogyra, asexual reproduction occurs through fragmentation. Here, the parent body divides fragments, which develops into a new individual.
- Budding: Some organisms reproduce by budding, where buds develop on the parent body. Each new bud develops into a new organism. Example for this is Hydra.
- Sporogenesis: Some organisms produce reproductive cells called spores. These spores grow into new organisms. The spores can spread through wind or through other animals.
- Vegetative Propagation: This form of asexual reproduction is generally seen in plants, where a plant can grow a shoot. This shoot, in turn, has the ability to grow into a new organism.
Asexual Reproduction in Plants
In some plants, new plantlets generally arise from the nodes. When the nodes come in contact with water, they give rise to nodes, thereby resulting in a new plant. In Bryophyllum, adventitious buds arise from the leaves. They originate from the notches present on the leave, slowly giving rise to new plants.
Learn more about Sexual Reproduction in Plants and Animals here.
Solved Question for You
Q: One of the following is not an advantage of asexual reproduction. Choose the right answer.
- Rapid reproduction.
- No need for a mate.
- High genetic diversity
- Low resource investment in offspring.
Ans. “High genetic diversity” is the right option. Asexual reproduction shows low genetic diversity.