Asexual Reproduction: Full Explanation with examples

Asexual Reproduction
Asexual Reproduction


Asexual reproduction is one of the reproduction types where the offspring is developed from a single organism inheriting the genes of the parent organisms. Reproduction means producing a new individual organism from parents. Reproduction is one of the essential processes which leads to continuity of species and life on the earth. Now our experts from Instant assignment help will tell you about the process of Asexual Reproduction.

Asexual Reproduction: Two Types of Reproduction

There are two processes of reproduction such as sexual and asexual reproduction. In the case of sexual reproduction, both male and female organisms or individuals give rise to their offspring or new individual organism. But in the case of asexual reproduction, simple division of individual organism takes place with the involvement of any one of the parents.

There are various forms of asexual reproduction such as fission, vegetative propagation, budding, fragmentation, spore formation, tissue culture or micro-propagation. In asexual reproduction, the fusion of gametes does not take place. The chromosome numbers do not change in the case of asexual reproduction. It is one of the primary reproduction forms for single-celled organisms like bacteria and archaea.

Many fungi and plants sometimes reproduce asexually. In a very early age, some of the sexual cells are found to die. Prokaryotes reproduce asexually where the fusion of gametes does not take place. Transfer of lateral gene takes place by the support of the mechanisms like conjugation, transduction, and transformation which give result in genetic recombination connected with sexual reproduction.  

A complete absence of sexual reproduction is quite rare among the multi-cellular organisms. The multi-cellular organisms such as animals reproduce with the help of sexual reproduction. From certain hypotheses, it has been revealed that there are certain short-term benefits of asexual reproduction concerning rapid growth in the population or stability in the environment. On the other hand, asexual reproduction has some advantages because it allows genetic diversity to get generated more rapidly which in turn allows increased adaptation to various changing environments.

There are certain constraints or barriers to switching to asexual reproduction from sexual reproduction. Some of the barriers or constraints include loss of protective recombinational repair to the damage of DNA or concomitant loss of meiosis. There are certain types of a sexual reproduction such as fission, budding, vegetative propagation, spore formation, fragmentation, and agamogenesis which is again categorized into two other types such as parthenogenesis and nuclear embryonic and apomixes.

Different forms of Asexual Reproduction

Genetic materials are needed for sexual reproduction. The genetic materials which the parent organisms use to create their offspring are found in case of sexual reproduction. But in the case of asexual reproduction, a single organism can reproduce without the support of genetic input of another organism of the opposite gender. A single organism is capable enough to produce asexually. Single-celled organisms and living things are capable of asexual reproduction but it takes different forms. There are many single-celled organisms which depend on binary fission which is a type of asexual reproduction. Bacteria reproduce asexually by binary fission.

There are certain species of worms or annelids which also reproduce asexually and the process is known as fragmentation. The species of annelids include mud mud-worms or California black worms. These species are hermaphroditic which means they have both female and male reproductive parts that help them to reproduce asexually. Black-worms generally reproduce by using fragmentation process where the black worms are capable of breaking apart and a new worm gets generated from an individual consequential fragment.

A type of freshwater hydras which are related to sea anemones, jellyfish, and corals also reproduce with the help of asexual reproduction by developing genetically identical small polyps which protrude from the parent hydras. These polyps generally break off from their parents to develop into new organisms. This process of asexual reproduction is known as budding.

It has been found that invertebrates and some specific species of vertebrate animals reproduce asexually. For example, copperhead snakes also reproduce asexually and they use this process as an alternative to sexual reproduction. This process is known as parthenogenesis which means “virgin birth”. Copperhead females give birth to their offspring without getting inseminated by their male partners. In the case of copperhead snakes, the females prefer to produce asexually even in the presence of their male partners.

National Geographic has provided an investigated result of the asexual reproduction process of copperhead snakes. In the process of parthenogenesis, a cell gets produced alongside the egg of the female which acts as a sperm cell and helps in fertilization of the egg. Parthenogenesis is commonly observed in certain species of reptiles, sharks, and birds and it is very common in the case of insects. There are many plants which also reproduce asexually through the process of vegetative propagation. Vegetative propagation can take place naturally or can be produced artificially. In the case of vegetative propagation, the organs and tissues of the plants are re-generated from any other part of the plants giving result to a new organism.

Strawberries can be reproduced by the use of vegetative propagation where the horizontal stems or stolen or runners are found to grow from their parent plants. The tiny plantlets develop along with the stolen or runners with roots along with their ways. If there is a break in the connection with their parent plants, the plantlets grow as independent new organisms.

Spore formation is another type of asexual reproduction where spores or tiny structures are found on sporangium or special fruiting bodies. These course or minute tiny structures can blow off to distant places by the help of air. They germinate where they get suitable conditions and develop new individuals. For example, mushrooms and bread mould, etc. Reproduce asexually by spore formation. On the other hand, tissue culture or micro-propagation is another form of a sexual reproduction where explant which is a small piece of plant is taken by cutting a growing tip of any other plant.

The explant is stored in controllable conditions with the support of the nutrient medium in the laboratory. The tissue cells rapidly divide and callus is formed which is an organized mass of cells. Callus generally transfers into another medium of nutrient which helps in differentiating the formation of roots, leaves, and stems. It also helps in the formation of the entire plant. After a certain period, the plantlets are transported to the fields. There are several plants like orchids, Chrysanthemum, and asparagus are grown by the use of tissue culture or micro-propagation form of asexual reproduction. Now our Assignment Experts will help you in telling the advantages of Asexual Reproduction.

Advantages of Asexual Reproduction

There are different advantages or benefits of asexual reproduction. In the case of asexual reproduction, offspring are produced as exact copies of their parents. A similar type of offspring can be grown or created by asexual production. There are various living organisms and species who prefer asexual reproduction as an alternative to sexual reproduction. The time taken in asexual reproduction is much less than that of the sexual reproduction process.

The plants which are developed asexually by the use of either tissue culture or vegetative propagation can be grown with minimum attention in the initial stages. On the other hand, the plants which are grown from seeds take much time to become a fully grown plant. There are some seedless varieties like dahlia, pineapple, bananas, grapes, etc. are grown by the use of the vegetative method of asexual reproduction.

One of the main advantages of asexual reproduction is offspring can be created without the help of a single partnership it can be completed within short tenure of time without the support of genetics in forming a gender. The offspring which gets produced by the process of asexual reproduction share similar characteristics of the parents in an identical manner. In asexual reproduction, a single parent can complete the formation of a new organism or offspring.

The energy which is needed for reproducing a new organism is supposed to be higher in the case of sexual reproduction. But in the case of asexual reproduction, minimum energy is required to produce offspring. The fusion of genetics requires high energy. In the case of asexual reproduction, a single parent is capable of giving birth to a new organism or offspring without genetic fusion and therefore, the energy requirement is quite low. Sexual reproduction can take place in different environments. Sexual organisms are found to be highly adaptive. They can adapt to the various changing environment and can also reproduce successfully. It increases the flexibility in the process of reproduction.

It is very important that an organism becomes able to survive in any environment with the assumption that similar conditions would assist for a long period. Asexual reproduction can also be considered to be one of the important aspects of the cloning process. Outside intervention is not required to produce identical offspring. Instead of pollination or mating process, the single parents can produce a clone of their characters. Amidst diversity, an organism finds it difficult to identify a supported habitat for reproducing without any threat of randomized genetic materials.

But in the case of asexual reproduction, the species survival gets increased. It is also very important that positive genetic influences get passed to the future generation. In the case of asexual reproduction, there is a high possibility of passing positive genetic influences to the next generation. Different forms of asexual reproduction can be applied to different living organisms which are capable of reproducing asexually.

Asexual Reproduction
Asexual Reproduction

Disadvantages of Asexual Reproduction

A defensive mechanism is observed in the case of social reproduction. Small organisms remain under threats from large organisms because of the natural cycle but asexual reproduction process allows the small organisms to reproduce even when they need to remain stationary throughout the entire life cycle. By asexual reproduction, the smaller organisms can produce numerous offspring at low energy. They can also produce offspring more often there are certain crops which are in high demand in modern society. For example, Jasmine and sugarcane are in high demand.

It is because of the asexual reproduction it is possible to produce large crops of these particular types without the need for seeds. The major issue of crop loss can be handled with a sexual reproduction method. There can be a huge demand for several crops during some particular seasons. The issue of crop loss can be will be handled by the implementation of a sexual reproduction method because the regeneration of certain crops can be done quite rapidly with the help of this reproductive process. Organisms can also receive rehabilitation with the support of the propagation process which is also involved in asexual reproduction.

Another important advantage of asexual reproduction is rapid maturity. The plants which are produced through asexual reproductive cycle experience faster maturity. The plants which are developed by sexual reproduction need much time to give rise new offspring. The maturity process in case of sexual reproduction is several weeks and even months which in turn shorten the growing time but sexual reproduction helps in regeneration of new plants in a very short period.

There are certain disadvantages of a sexual reproduction there is a high chance of negative mutations continue in the new generations produced by a sexual generation because in the case of asexual reproduction the offspring is almost a clone of its parent. There is a chance of negative nutrient getting passed down to the new offspring. It increases the risk of getting extinct because the majority of the mutations are getting more negative. In the case of asexual reproduction, an offspring is a clone of its parent. In this case, diversity becomes highly restrictive.

A species becomes more susceptible to different infections or diseases because of inadequate ability to fight back any problem of diversity. Another disadvantage of asexual reproduction is the difficulty of controlling the population of the species created by the means of asexual reproduction. The population can get increased quite rapidly if asexual reproduction is used for reproduction because the organisms can reproduce anywhere they get suitable and favourable conditions. 

It is not always true that asexual organisms can adapt to changing habitat for the environment. There can be some disease or predators which can create the ability to destroy the species of asexual organisms. With very limited access to evolution, the organisms could get destroyed in a very short period. There is another issue of overcrowding in asexual reproduction.

Because a high number of new asexual offspring can be produced by a single parent with the use of different forms of the asexual reproductive method, more organisms get developed with the progression in the generation which can be a real issue. Overcrowding can give threats to the resources which could even stop the future organisms to grow. The level of population can also suffer from starvation because of the enhanced population of asexual organisms.

Unlike sexual reproduction, there can be different forms of asexual reproduction which can give results to offspring close to each other. Because the offspring sexually produced are close together, there can be intense competition among them for resources. Food is one of the important resources which can be under threat because of the enhanced population of asexual organisms. There can also be a competition for space among several new asexual offspring.

It can also be observed that there is another threat which comes from an established colony of asexual organisms. Some asexual organisms become successful in establishing separate colonies. These conditions can have negative impacts eliminating the entire species. Movement capabilities are also highly limited with majority asexual species which indicates the fact that the survival of different species is never under their control.

Pest resistance is observed to be highly limited in the case of asexual reproduction plants which are grown with the support of asexual reproductive cycle. Asexual organisms are less responsive to pest resistance. Loss or injury can take place rapidly because of low energy and speed requirements of asexual reproduction.

The threats to the health of the species can decline crop yields and result in declining quality of crops or can increase additional health issues which can also impact other species adversely. The life spans of asexual organisms are found to be highly low than sexually produced organisms. Furthermore, it is another important it fact that asexual reproduction is a highly expensive process which needs much investment in resources. There are some species of asexual organisms which cannot sustain in some particular environment.

This habitat-reliant nature of some of the asexual organisms can be a major disadvantage. There are certain limitations to the reproductive cycle. There can be numerous sexually produced crops or plants or other species of sexual organisms but limited species of asexual organisms.

The various advantages and disadvantages of asexual reproduction depict the magic of nature. it also shows the common process which a living organism continues in habitats and environments. It is very important to manage the reproduction process with the help of which the entire living organisms could survive safely and naturally. The knowledge about the species and their characteristics is also very important. For more detailed information, you can also check with Assignment Help Canada.