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Difference between Sexual Reproduction and Asexual Reproduction

Reproduction is a biological process that allows living organisms of a species to produce new organisms and transmit genetic information from one generation to another generation. In other words, it helps organisms to perpetuate the races in order to survive on the planet Earth. Reproduction can be of two types: asexual reproduction and sexual reproduction. Let us see how they differ from each other!

Sexual Reproduction:

It is a type of reproduction that usually occurs in the higher organisms like vertebrates and higher invertebrates. The offspring are produced by two parents of separate sexes (male and female). The parents pass genetic information to the offspring. The new organism is a combination of both parents as it gets half of the genetic information or genes from the father and half from the mother.

Sexual reproduction is a complex process. The organisms that reproduce sexually produce sex cells, e.g. in humans the male produces sperm and female produces eggs. The sex cells (sperm and egg) are known as gametes and are haploid cells, meaning each gamete cell from each parent has half of the number of chromosomes. These two gametes combine or fuse to form a diploid zygote, by a process called fertilization and thus a new cell containing genetic material from both the parents is formed. Each human gamete contains 23 chromosomes, so the zygote, which is formed after fertilization, contains 46 chromosomes.

Asexual Reproduction:

It is the type of reproduction in which offspring are produced by the single parent. It does not involve any interaction or mating between the organisms of the same species and lacks the gamete formation, fusion of gametes or zygote formation. Meiosis does not occur in asexual reproduction only the mitosis takes place so offspring receive all the genetic information from one parent so it is like making a clone of itself. In other words, it produces offspring that are genetically identical to the single parent. Asexual reproduction can be of various types such as budding, fragmentation, spore formation, and binary fission.

Based on the above information, some of the key differences between asexual and sexual reproduction are as follows:

Asexual Reproduction Sexual Reproduction
Offspring are produced by a single parent. It does involve any kind of interaction or mating between the two organisms of the same species. Offspring are produced by two parents (male and female).
Its types include binary fission, fragmentation, spore formation and budding. Its types include syngamy and conjugation.
Mitosis takes place in cell division. Meiosis occurs in during gamete formation.
Somatic cells of the parent are involved. Germ cells of both the parents are involved.
It occurs in lower organisms like invertebrates, chordates and plants with a simple organization. It occurs in higher plants and animals like humans.
Gametes formation or fusion is absent. Gametes are formed and they fuse to form the zygote.
Fertilization does not occur. Fertilization takes place.
The offspring are genetically identical to the parent. The offspring are not genetically identical to any of the parents.
A large number of offspring can be produced in less time. A large number of offspring cannot be produced by sexual reproduction.
It does not contribute to the evolution of species. It causes variations, so contributes to the evolution of species.
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