Sexual and asexual reproduction

Unwashed potatoes
Unwashed potatoes

There are two types of reproduction - sexual reproduction and asexual reproduction.

Two parents are needed in sexual reproduction, and the offspring produced are genetically different to the parents.

Only one parent is needed in asexual reproduction, and the offspring produced are genetically identical, eg reproduction in bacteria, production of spores by fungi, and the formation of tubers in potatoes and bulbs in daffodils.

Sexual reproduction

These are some of the advantages of sexual reproduction:

  • introduces variation into a population
  • the species can adapt to new environments
  • a disease is less likely to affect all the individuals in a population

These are some of the disadvantages of sexual reproduction:

  • time and energy are needed to find a mate
  • not possible for an isolated individual

Asexual reproduction

The advantages of asexual reproduction include:

  • population can increase rapidly
  • can exploit a suitable habitat quickly

The disadvantages include:

  • does not lead to variation in a population
  • the species may only be suited to one habitat
  • disease may affect all the individuals in a population