How Can Organisms Reproduce?

Reproduction is one of the characteristic features of living entities. It is necessary as without reproduction a species becomes extinct. Reproduction is the process by which an organism produces a new organism with the transfer of genetic material. This process is carried out through two modes – Sexual and asexual modes of reproduction.

Asexual reproduction – In this type of reproduction, a single parent is involved which gives rise to a new offspring. Asexual reproduction can be carried out through one of these means:

  • Binary fission
  • Fragmentation
  • Budding
  • Vegetative propagation
  • Spore formation

Sexual reproduction, on the other hand, requires the involvement of two parents. The male and female organisms produce gametes which fuse to form the zygote and hence fertilization occurs. The zygote then undergoes a series of divisions to produce a new offspring. The new organism hence formed contains an equal number of chromosomes from both its parents thus exhibiting features similar to that of the parents. It is an advanced mode of reproduction where two individuals from the opposite genders are involved in the formation of new variants which possess variation. Whereas asexual reproduction exhibits little to no variation as a result of which they are exact replicas of their parents.

Questions For You

Q.1. Can you think of an entity that can practice either form of reproduction?

A.1. The Zebra shark

Q.2. State two benefits of asexual reproduction over sexual reproduction.

A.2 a) Asexual reproduction is faster compared to sexual reproduction

b) Asexual organisms can grow and produce in a large population without having to find a viable mate

Q.3. Name a bacteria that reproduce asexually.

A.3. Salmonella typhimurium

Q.4. Name the mammal with the shortest gestational period in the whole animal kingdom.

A.4. The North American Opposum with a gestation period of 12 days and produces approximately 15-20 babies after mating.

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