Do Bacteria Reproduce Sexually Or Asexually?

Table of Contents


Bacteria reproduce asexually by binary fission. They also show the exchange of DNA through conjugation, transformation and transduction.

Bacteria are unicellular, microscopic organisms, which have been grouped as prokaryotes, which means these organisms lack a true nucleus. These microscopic organisms reproduce by asexual methods only.  Asexual reproduction occurs by binary fission, wherein a cell divides into two and the formation of endospores occurs during unfavourable conditions.

Sexual reproduction is unheard of in bacteria. They do not produce male and female gametes and a fusion of gametes does not take place. Though there is a process that is comparable to sexual reproduction or we can say a primitive form of sexual reproduction, wherein the exchange of DNA takes place. It is known as bacterial recombination.

Let us now see in detail the different modes of reproduction in bacteria.

How do bacteria reproduce?

Bacteria reproduce asexually by binary fission. They also show genetic transfer through recombination that results in non-identical daughter cells.

Asexual Reproduction in Bacteria

Binary Fission – It is a common and simple method of asexual reproduction in bacteria. In this process of asexual reproduction, the parent cell divides into two, leading to two equal-sized daughter cells. Under favourable conditions, bacteria multiply rapidly and may double in 10-15 minutes.

Bacterial Recombination

Bacterial Recombination is usually carried out in one of the three ways:

  1. Transformation – Here, the DNA from one bacteria is transferred to another bacteria.
  2. Transduction – Here, the DNA is transferred from one bacterial cell to a different bacterial cell through a bacteriophage virus. It is known to take place in different bacterial species, namely Escherichia, Micrococcus, Salmonella, etc.
  3. Conjugation – It is a direct transfer of the genome. Here, the genetic material of a bacterial cell of a specific strain is shifted from a donor or male into that of another bacterial cell recipient or female of a different strain. The donor cells have a sex factor or F factor, and the recipient cells do not possess this factor thereby, it is expressed as F- strain.

Main Article: Bacteria

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