Asexual Reproduction

Friday, January 18, 2019

Asexual Reproduction

John’s throat was a little scratchy before going to bed. He took some cough syrup and went to bed early. He awoke early in the morning with a high fever and feeling awful. How did this happen?

Some bacteria can divide every twenty minutes which means that in just 7 hours one bacterium can generate 2 million bacteria. After one more hour, the number of bacteria will have risen to 16 million. That’s why we can quickly become ill when pathogenic microbes invade our bodies.

This is just one example of asexual reproduction and how life is able to make copies of itself and continue to stay alive. 

As Dr. Malcolm from Jurrasic Park says, “Life uh.... finds a way”

Asexual reproduction is a type of reproduction by which offspring arise from a single organism, and inherit the genes of that parent only.

Let’s look at four types of Asexual Reproduction.

  • Fission

  • Budding

  • Fragmentation

  • Spores

Fission occurs in lower plants, bacteria, blue-green algae, and protozoa. In this process, the cell divides after the DNA has divided. If the cell divides into two it is called binary fission. The DNA or the nucleus of a mature cell divides first and then the cell divides into two daughter cells of almost the same size. The resulting cells contain identical genetic material as the parent cell.  

Budding  In some species buds may be produced from almost any point of the body, but in many cases budding is only found in specialized areas. The bud eventually develops into an organism duplicating the parent. Budding is characteristic of a few unicellular organisms like bacteria, yeasts, and protozoans. However, a few animals like this hydra reproduce by budding. 

Fragmentation is a form of cloning where an organism is split into fragments. The splitting may or may not be intentional. Each of these fragments develops into mature, fully grown individuals that are a clone of the original organism. If the organism is split any further the process is repeated. Fragmentation is caused by mitosis. Meiosis is not involved in fragmentation.

Fragmentation is seen in many organisms such as molds, some annelid worms, and sea stars.

Spores Many fungi develop spores through mitosis and not fertilization. The spores are dropped to the ground and develop into new fungi.

fern spores

Reproduction with one parent


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