Asexual reproduction is the mode of reproduction by which new plants are produced without the help of flowers. This mode does not require the fusion of male and female gametes. Asexual reproduction generates new plants that are clones of the mother plant. Clones are a group of cells or a new organism genetically identical to each other. Asexual reproduction occurs in different kinds which includes the budding, fragmentation, vegetative propagation, and spore formation.
In this mode of asexual reproduction, a new plant is developed from an outgrowth, also called bud, in the plant body. A bud is formed due to cell division at one particular site.For example, if you keep a potato for long time, it is said to develop many number of small growths, which are commonly referred as ‘eyes’. Each of them can be cut and also planted. Each of them will grow up like a clone of an original plant which had produced potato.
Vegetative propagation is a type of reproduction in which new plants are produced from the vegetative parts of the plants, i.e. roots, stems or buds. Vegetative propagation in plants can occur naturally or can be artificially induced by horticulturists.
Examples of vegetative propagation are as follows:
Stems – Runners are the stems which usually grow in horizontal above the ground. They have the nodes where the buds are said to be formed. These buds usually grow into new plant.
Roots – New plants grow out of swollen, modified roots called tubers. Example: Sweet Potato
Leaves – Leaves of some plants grow into a new plant when they are detached from the parent plant. Some other plants exhibit growth of small plants, called plantlets, on the edge of their leaves. Example: Bryophyllum.
This is a mode of asexual reproduction in which a new plant grows from a fragment of the parent plant. Each fragment develops into a mature, fully grown individual. Some plants possess specialized structures for reproduction through fragmentation. This type of reproduction happens naturally where small part of the plant come fall off onto soil and then begin to grow up into an new plant. This mode is often used by nurseries and greenhouses to produce plants quickly.
Many plants and algae form spores in their life cycle. A spore is an asexual reproductive body, surrounded by a hard protective cover to withstand unfavourable conditions such as high temperature and low humidity. Under favourable conditions, the spores germinate and grow into new plants. Plants like moss and ferns use this mode of reproduction.
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