Before checking the difference between sexual and asexual reproduction, everyone would have an idea that there is only one organism involved in asexual reproduction whereas sexual reproduction acquires the participation of both males and females. Many organisms reproduce either sexually or asexually, whereas a few necessitate both of them. For instance, most unicellular organisms and some plants can reproduce asexually, whereas fishes and mammals have sexual mechanisms involved. Many other creatures like komodo dragons and corals can replicate by both methods; sexual and asexual.

Despite everything, the organisms produced asexually wouldn’t have the genetic variation among them, so they’ll have a lesser ability to adapt to the surrounding environment. Let’s check out the comparison chart briefly!

Comparison Table

 Sexual ReproductionAsexual Reproduction
Parental TypeBi-parentalUniparental
GametesFormation of gametesNo formation of gametes
Cell InvolvementGerms cells involvedSomatic cells involved
Type of Cell DivisionMitosis and meiosisOnly mitosis
Characteristics of Parent CellCharacteristics of both parents are shown/inheritedCharacteristics of only one parent are shown/inherited
TypesExternal fertilization, conjugation, and SyngamyFragmentation, budding of hydra, and spore formation, etc.

Now we will walk you through the major differences between sexual and asexual reproduction, so let’s get started.

Further Types in Reproduction

Sexual Reproduction

The two main types of sexual reproduction are Syngamy and Conjugation.

Syngamy: It is the permanent union of two haploid gamete cells to produce a zygote. It is known as fertilization in human beings.

Conjugation: It is another type of sexual reproduction that is temporary and utilizes a cytoplasmic bridge. This type is commonly observed in bacteria, passing DNA across the bridge.

Asexual Reproduction

We have come across several types of asexual reproduction until now. These consist of gemmules and budding, where the organisms reproduce by releasing a special mass from parent cells, or the organisms grow out of the parent’s body, respectively. Below are a few types of asexual reproduction:

Fragmentation: This process is held when a parent cell breaches into pieces or fragments that grow to a new individual. Starfish is a common example. It can reproduce from just a single arm or ray. However, starfish also show sexual reproduction.

Binary Fission: This mechanism involves the splitting of a parent cell into two similar daughter cells.

Budding: It occurs when a bubble-like bud is formed from a parent cell. Throughout the growth and development of a bud, it remains attached to its parent cell. After the complete procedure, it detaches itself from the parent cell. A common example is “budding in yeast.”

Process

Sexual Reproduction

This type of reproduction engages both males and females of similar species to get their genetic material. Through the process of meiosis, these genetic material forms gametes and gets half chromosomes individually, called haploid gametes. Fertilization processes when these two gametes, from male and female, unite and produces a diploid zygote having its own inheritable material.

Asexual Reproduction

This type of reproduction is held without any combination of two members of the same species. The division of cells is done through mitosis, where every chromosome cell makes a copy before nucleus division. This way, each new cell gets a piece of identical genetic information.

Example

Sexual Reproduction

There are numerous examples of sexual reproduction, including fishes, most mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects.

Asexual Reproduction

Most of the plants, for example, bacteria, spider plants, yeast, and jellyfish follow the mechanism of asexual reproduction. Moreover, many identical twins are created by this method.

Advantages & Disadvantages

Sexual Reproduction

The biggest advantage of sexual reproduction is that it promotes variation, which greatly helps in evolution. It then helps to create species that adapt themselves to new surroundings. It is beneficial in preventing different diseases from attacking. However, it has a central drawback of using a significant amount of energy to mate with its partner.

Asexual Reproduction

This type of reproduction is perfect for organisms sticking to one place and those who cannot move with the change in environment. Asexual reproduction is usually adopted by simple creatures, like bacteria. However, it has the disadvantage of not producing variations in its daughter cells. All individuals are identical to each other, which are very easy to wipe out by a specific disease or by the change in surroundings.

Conclusion

After a thorough discussion on the difference between sexual and asexual reproduction, we understood that both are the forms of promoting one’s generation, in either way. If the former type of reproduction involves two parents to produce offspring, the latter can replicate by the engagement of only one parent. Last but not least, both types of reproduction retain their own importance.

Hifza Khan
Author

Hifza is a student of bioinformatics. She is a research student and working on cancer.

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