Gemation: what it is and examples - PHOTOS

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Life always finds a way to prevail. An example of this is the enormous variety of reproductive processes that living beings have managed to develop in order to perpetuate their respective species.

There are reproductive processes in which the participation of a pair of parents is not required. Living things that reproduce asexually have the ability to generate offspring without the need for sexual gametes or fertilization.

Small organisms, invertebrates, plants and microbes are the ones who, in general, use asexual processes to reproduce. In this Green Ecologist article we will talk specifically about what is budding and examples. Read it to also discover the types of budding that exist.

What is budding?

Budding is a type of asexual reproduction that consists of the formation of a new individual from a segment of another pre-existing individual.

This segment is a bulge or protrusion called a “bud” that appears on the body of the parent and grows progressively. After reaching a certain size (maturity), it is considered a fully formed new individual. Depending on the species, this new individual may be attached to its parent to form a colony, or it may detach to become a totally independent organism.

If you want to know more about asexual reproduction: what it is, types and examples, take a look at this other post that we recommend.

Budding types

There are three types of budding: exogenous budding, endogenous and endopolygenic. Next, we are going to detail them:

  • External budding: also known as exogenous budding, it is one in which the bud grows outside the body. It is easily distinguishable and includes the outgrowth of one or multiple buds.
  • Endodiogenesis: it is a type of internal budding in which two buds grow simultaneously inside the plasma membrane of the progenitor cell. It is very common among unicellular beings.
  • Endopolygeny: it is a type of internal budding in which more than two buds grow simultaneously inside the plasma membrane of the progenitor cell. It is very common among unicellular beings.

Some of the characteristics of budding are:

  • Budding entails unequal division of the parent individual.
  • Budding involves the division of the cell nucleus through mitosis. Discover the Difference between mitosis and meiosis.
  • Budding in animals only occurs in Invertebrate animals. Here you can find more information about invertebrate animals: examples and characteristics.
  • Like the other types of asexual reproduction, budding only requires one parent to give birth to a new life.
  • As in the other types of asexual reproduction, the organism originated by budding is exactly the same as its parent. This means the parent and offspring have exactly the same same genetic material (except for a mutation).
  • As there is no genetic variability between parents and offspring, the species that reproduce exclusively by budding are very susceptible to diseases. In the long term, this could increase the chances of extinction.
  • Compared to other types of reproduction such as sexual reproduction with internal fertilization, budding is a quick and easy process.
  • Although they are very similar, budding and fragmentation are different reproductive processes. In fragmentation the parent individual splits in one or more parts to generate their offspring. This entails the amputation of its limbs or another part of its body to give life to a new independent organism. Fragmentation is very common in earthworms and starfish.
  • If conditions are favorable, the yolk produced by a single-celled organism can produce its own yolk simultaneously.

Budding in plants and animals

Let's see in which plants and in which animals budding occurs:

  • Budding in single-celled organisms occurs in fungi, such as beer yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), protozoa (Toxoplasma gondii) and bacteria like those of the genres Streptococcus, Hyphomicrobium, Rickettsia Y Ancalomicrobium. Plants that produce tubers, stolons, rhizomes, and bulbs also reproduce by budding. Some examples are potatoes, tulips, ginger, strawberries, and onions.
  • Budding in animals is very rare and occurs exclusively in invertebrates such as sponges, corals, anemones, hydras, and ectoprocts.

Read on to find out some examples of organisms that reproduce by budding.

Budding in the sea sponges

Sea sponges are simple and primitive animals belonging to the phylum Porifera. They are aquatic invertebrates with totipotent cells that can reproduce both sexually and asexually. During asexual reproduction they produce buds or gemmules that end up shedding and generating new individuals.

  • Sponge species that live in fresh water (belonging to the family Spongillidae) produce more complex gemmules and organized.
  • Saltwater sponges usually produce simplest gemmules called soritos.

If you want to know more about the sea sponge: what it is and its characteristics, do not hesitate to visit this Green Ecologist article that we recommend.

Budding in the tulips

Tulips are a genus of plants belonging to the family of the Liliaceae. They reproduce asexually through budding-type vegetative multiplication; a process in which the parent tulip produces fleshy stems underground called bulbs.

The bulbs of the offspring grow from the main bulb (that of the parent) and develop until reaching the necessary maturity to grow new individuals.

Here is another post where we explain how to preserve tulip bulbs.

Budding in beer yeast

Beer yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is a unicellular fungus very important commercially. It is used in the making of wine, beer, kumis, bread and food supplements and can reproduce both sexually and asexually.

  • Asexual reproduction: it is given by budding. The process begins with the bulging of the plasma membrane of the parent individual. Then its nucleus divides and the daughter nucleus passes into a bulge. Finally, the yolk separates and becomes an independent individual. The daughter cell is always smaller than its parent.
  • Sexual reproduction: It is important because it includes genetic variation in the population, thereby reducing the risk of extinction. It is not so common for this type of reproduction to occur.

We recommend this other article by Green Ecologist on the Classification of fungi so that you can learn more about the subject.

Budding in hydras

Hydras are aquatic animals belonging to the edge of the Cnidarians. They are invertebrates typical of fresh waters that measure only a few millimeters and have the ability to regenerate parts of your body. They are hermaphrodites and reproduce both sexually and asexually. Asexual reproduction is carried out by exogenous budding when food and environmental conditions are favorable.

If you want to know more about hermaphrodite Animals: reproduction and types, do not hesitate to read this other post.

If you want to read more articles similar to Budding: what it is and examples, we recommend that you enter our Biology category.

  • Biosphere Project. (s. f.). Biosphere Project. Ministry of Education. Government of Spain. Available at:
  • Ancalomicrobium. Oxford Reference. Available at:
  • Difference between budding and fragmentation. (2015). Wikiteka. Available at:
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