The biological advantages that asexual reproduction offers to many living beings, has undoubtedly made it the most effective reproductive method to perpetuate the survival and evolution of many species. Thus, asexual reproduction is considered one of the most widespread survival strategies within the Animal and Plant Kingdoms, as well as for many fungi and microorganisms. When there are adverse environmental conditions or even in the face of a lack of nutrients, many living beings are capable of producing, through asexual reproduction, spores and other resistance structures.
If you want to know more about these amazing abilities of living beings, continue reading this interesting article by Green Ecologist on what is asexual reproduction, its types and examples.
The definition of sexual reproduction indicates that this is the physiological process that allows living organisms to transmit their genetic information to their descendants without the union of gametes from individuals of different sex for such offspring to occur.
It is a much simpler and faster process than sexual reproduction. The following list includes many of the salient characteristics of the asexual reproduction process that many living things can carry out.
These are the main characteristics of asexual reproduction:
Now that we know what asexual reproduction is and what its main characteristics are, let's see what types of asexual reproduction living beings have developed as strategies for survival and evolution:
This type of asexual reproduction occurs mainly in unicellular organisms such as bacteria and fungi, which, under adverse environmental conditions (excess temperature, lack of nutrients, etc.), are capable of reproducing by creating spores as resistance structures that will be capable of surviving such unfavorable conditions.
By forming a gem (or bud) structure in the parent organism (both unicellular and multicellular), a new, usually smaller organism is created by duplication.
By forming a septum-like structure in the cell membrane, many prokaryotic cellular organisms fission into new organisms whose genetic material is exactly identical to that of the parent.
This amazing asexual reproduction mechanism is based on the ability of the parent organism to fragment one or more parts of its anatomical structure from which a new individual will grow. Likewise, it is capable of regenerating its own structure. This mechanism is characteristic of both plants and animals, such as sea urchins and starfish. Learn more about this type of asexual reproduction and about these curious animals with this other Green Ecologist article about the Starfish: characteristics, reproduction and taxonomy.
This strange phenomenon of asexual reproduction allows some animals to reproduce asexually when there are no close individuals of the opposite sex to reproduce sexually. These animals generate diploid eggs through mitosis and it is characteristic of many invertebrates (crustaceans, flatworms, rotifers, cladocerans), as well as some vertebrates (amphibians, reptiles, fish and even birds on certain occasions).
The asexual reproduction in plants it is also commonly known as vegetative reproduction. In it, plants reproduce through structures other than seeds, such as stems (cuttings, grafts), leaves, buds, and even roots (tubers, rhizomes, bulbs). In the following list we will see some examples of plants with asexual reproductionBoth groups of plants that follow these mechanisms naturally, as well as other species that humans treat in crops for the purpose of improving agricultural production.
Here you can expand the information on Plants with asexual reproduction: characteristics and examples and here more specifically on How ferns reproduce.
Both some vertebrate animals and many invertebrates are capable of asexual reproduction. Sometimes, this asexual reproduction is complementary to the sexual one, and they simply choose it under adverse survival conditions, while for other animals it is their usual reproduction process. Let's see in the following list some of the examples of animals with asexual reproduction, among which there are cnidarians, fish, reptiles, etc .:
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