Living organisms reproduce sexually or asexually. In a sexual reproduction, a gamete from the male parent fuses with a gamete from the female parent to form a zygote.
In asexual reproduction, the organism or the parent cell divides into two to give rise to a morphologically and genetically identical organism called a clone. Asexual reproduction in animals takes place through: Binary Fission, Budding. Asexual reproduction, commonly seen in protists, monerans and fungi, is of many different types.
The amoeba, for instance, reproduces by binary fission, where the parent cell divides into two halves and each half develops into a daughter cell. Yeast, on the other hand, reproduces through budding where the parent cell produces small buds through mitosis.
In the case of hydra, buds which develop on the parent body serve as a means of reproduction.
In plants, asexual reproduction takes place through specialised structures called vegetative propagules. Vegetative propagules include: Eyes, Nodes, Buds, Runners, Suckers, Offsets Bulbs. For instance, the stem of a potato plant is dotted with buds known as ‘eyes’, which later germinate into new plants. Whereas in a ginger plant, modified stems or rhizomes having nodes and buds, act as a means of vegetative propagation. Bryophyllum, on the other hand, have notches on the margin of their leaves that give rise to adventitious buds that fall off and later germinate into new plantlets.
Asexual reproduction, an important biological process that ensures continuity of life, occurs differently in different organisms.