Living things can reproduce in different ways. The sexual reproduction it is the one that characterizes the higher animals and some lower ones and plants. This is characterized by the union of two gametes, one male and the other female, which after fertilization give rise to an embryo.
However, among evolutionarily more primitive beings like bacteria, yeasts, algae, fungi and some types of plants, the asexual reproduction.
This means that gametes from different parents do not intervene, but there is a mechanism by which another is formed from a single individual.
Types of asexual reproduction
One of these mechanisms is bipartition or binary fission. This is typical of simple unicellular organisms, such as bacteria, and implies that each cell divides in two, after duplication and division of its genetic material. There can also be multiple division.
Another possibility is the budding or budding. This is also characteristic of unicellular organisms such as yeasts, and what takes place is an evagination of the cytoplasm, like a sprout, which after receiving the genetic material is detached from the cell that originated it.
Many plants can multiply asexually by fragmentation from cuttings, rhizomes, bulbs or stolons, by having “buds” or growth meristems in different parts of their structure.
The sporulation it is also a very widespread asexual reproduction mechanism among living beings. This consists of the mitotic formation of special reproductive cells (spores), usually provided with resistant walls, which ensure their survival even in environments with unfavorable conditions. This mechanism is very common among algae and fungi, in the latter sometimes there are special structures such as sporangia, which contain the spores.
The parthenogenesis, in which a new individual is formed from the development of unfertilized female sex cells, it can be considered, in a certain way, a type of asexual reproduction.
Many living beings have a phase of asexual reproduction and another with sexual reproduction throughout their lives. What all forms of asexual reproduction have in common is that they produce individuals that are genetically identical to the one that originated them.
Examples of asexual reproduction
Here are some examples of life forms initiated from asexual reproduction:
- Sugarcane cultivation for sugar production
- Potato farming
- Bacterial colony on a Petri dish
- Regeneration of a starfish, from one of its arms
- Reproduction of the hydra
- Onion cultivation
- Orchid cultivation
- Ornamental potus cultivation
- Ornamental cultivation of water stick
- Reproduction of protozoa
- Mushroom cultivation
- Vine growing
- Reproduction of the stick insect
- Establishment of willow and poplar forests
- Establishment of carnation from the air over other trees
- Cactus multiplication
- Algae formation in ponds
- Strawberry cultivation
- Yeast colonies
- Gladiolus cultivation