asexual reproduction

The following are types of asexual reproduction:

  • budding
  • Binary division, cissiparity or bipartition
  • multiple division
  • sporulation
  • Fragmentation or regeneration
  • Parthenogenesis
  • vegetative propagation

What is asexual reproduction?

Asexual reproduction is a type of reproduction observed in different living beings that is characterized by the formation of a new being without the mixing of genetic material , that is, without the fusion of gametes.

Individuals that arise through asexual reproduction have the same genetic makeup as those that originated them, and are therefore called clones . In general, we can say that asexual reproduction is relatively simple and also fast.

Representation of one of the types of asexual reproduction observed in living beings: the binary division.

As asexual reproduction is responsible for producing clones, we say that there is no genetic variability. unfavorable from an evolutionary point of view. This is due to the fact that all individuals have the same characteristics and, therefore, changes in the environment may be responsible for triggering a reduction in this entire population.

Although many people relate asexual reproduction to only single-celled individuals such as bacteria , this type of reproduction can be seen in multicellular organisms , including animals and plants. It is worth noting that humans cannot reproduce asexually.

  • Comparison between asexual and sexual reproduction

Sexual reproduction , when compared to asexual reproduction, can be considered more complex and also slower. In this type of reproduction, the participation of gametes is observed . We humans reproduce sexually, the sperm being the male gamete and the secondary oocyte the female gamete.

The fusion of gametes in sexual reproduction produces genetic variability, given the combination of genes from the male and the female. It is worth noting that, in sexual reproduction, the participation of two individuals is often observed , however, in some species, hermaphrodite individuals capable of self-fertilization are observed.

Types of asexual reproduction

There are different forms of asexual reproduction, and it is possible to identify this modality in unicellular and multicellular organisms, including even vertebrate animals . Let’s find out more about these types below:

In budding, the new individual can detach itself from the one that originated it or remain united.
  • Budding: as the name suggests, there is the growth of a bud in the body of the living being. This bud can detach from the individual and generate another independent individual or remain attached, forming colonies. Cnidarians, fungi and plants show this form of reproduction.
  • Binary division, cissiparity or bipartition: we have an individual dividing into two genetically identical. Initially, the duplication of the genetic material is observed, which will be distributed to the two individuals, later, the division of the individual in two is observed. It can occur in bacteria and protozoa .
  • Multiple division: we have the division of a cell into three or more. In this case, the nucleus undergoes several successive divisions and, subsequently, the cytoplasm divides. Protozoa of the genus Plasmodium carry out this type of reproduction.
  • Sporulation: consists of the formation of spores, specialized cells surrounded by a cell wall that guarantees the protection of the structure. The spore, when finding a suitable environment for its development, germinates and gives rise to another being. We can observe the formation of spores, for example, in algae , plants and fungi.
Starfish have an incredible regenerative capacity.
  • Fragmentation or regeneration: consists of the ability of an organism to form another based on a fragment of its body. Echinoderms and flatworms are groups of animals that have this ability. The starfish, for example, when damaged, can regenerate, and the lost part gives rise to a new being. It is worth noting that some species, such as the planarian, can divide themselves, and each fragment will give rise to a new being. This spontaneous fragmentation with subsequent regeneration is a process called schizogenesis.
  • Parthenogenesis: is a special type of reproduction in which eggs develop without fertilization taking place. Drones are produced by this form of reproduction. Although uncommon, parthenogenesis has already been observed in vertebrates. A female shark in Australia bred in an aquarium three years after being separated from a male.
  • Vegetative propagation: typical of vegetables, it consists of the reproduction of the plant by the vegetative portions, such as stem and root. Sugarcane and banana can be reproduced in this way.

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