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Asexual Reproduction

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Uploaded on Apr 30, 2010

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Asexual Reproduction

Asexual reproduction is reproduction which does not involve meiosis, ploidy reduction, or fertilization. Only one parent is involved in asexual reproduction. A more stringent definition is agamogenesis which refers to reproduction without the fusion of gametes. Asexual reproduction is the primary form of reproduction for single-celled organisms such as the archaea, bacteria, and protists. Many plants and fungi reproduce asexually as well. While all prokaryotes reproduce asexually (without the formation and fusion of gametes), mechanisms for lateral gene transfer such as conjugation, transformation and transduction are sometimes likened to sexual reproduction. A lack of sexual reproduction is relatively rare among multicellular organisms, for reasons that are not completely understood. Current hypotheses suggest that, while asexual reproduction may have short term benefits when rapid population growth is important or in stable environments, sexual reproduction offers a net advantage by allowing more rapid generation of genetic diversity, allowing adaptation to changing environments.

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