The Advantages and Disadvantages of Sexual and Asexual Reproduction

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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Sexual and Asexual Reproduction

In order to avoid extinction species must reproduce and pass their genes on to the next generation, thus ensuring the survival of the population. For reproduction to occur cell division is necessary and this can be divided into two categories according to the behaviour of the chromosomes, they are known as mitosis and meiosis. Mitosis is when the daughter cells finish up containing exactly the same number of chromosomes as the parent cell, typically two of each type, known as the diploid state. Mitosis takes place when an organism grows or reproduces asexually. Meiosis is when each daughter cell ends up with exactly half the
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Asexual reproduction in animals has three main methods of reproducing, which are budding, parthenogenesis and regeneration. Budding simply consists of an organism developing an outgrowth which on detachment forms a new self supporting individual. Parthenogenesis or “virgin birth” is when unfertilised eggs develop into new individuals and regeneration happens when an organism's body is broken into fragments, then each fragment can then develop into a new individual. Using these methods avoids the need to find a mate and also rapidly increases the number of organisms in a population, all of which are advantages of asexual reproduction. However, these advantages only work well if the environment is favourable and does not change. Disadvantages associated with these methods are that because the organisms that are produced are all identical there is less genetic variation and the population can not adapt to change, therefore making evolution slower. Also, because the organisms are clones it is likely that all the organisms would die if a serious disease came along. Inbreeding also causes genetic defects and diseases.

Many flowering plants can reproduce asexual as well as sexually. Asexual reproduction allows plants to increase their numbers
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