Lesson Plan - Get It!
Having babies is tough; just ask any mom! Carrying and laying eggs is probably not an amusement park ride for birds, either. Some plants and animals reproduce an easier way!
Organisms use a variety of reproduction strategies to pass genetic information to offspring.
Asexual reproduction is a useful strategy when organisms need to reproduce rapidly and in large numbers. In asexual reproduction, there is a single parent that transfers all of its genetic material to the offspring. That means the offspring is genetically identical to the parent. Organisms that use asexual reproduction include yeast, hydra, some fungi, and all prokaryotes. Remember, prokaryotes are organisms that lack a nucleus or membrane-bound organelles.
Notice how the hydra below forms a new organism off the original parent:
Asexual reproduction benefits organisms because they can reproduce very quickly and produce lots of offspring in each generation. Bacteria are a good example — the image below shows a growth plate with bacteria. Bacterial colonies can go from invisible to covering the entire plate within a week!
Watch this short video on asexual reproduction. As you watch Asexual Reproduction, from MooMooMath and Science, answer these questions:
- How many parents are there in asexual reproduction?
- What is binary fission?
- How is DNA involved in asexual reproduction?
- What role does mitosis play in asexual reproduction?
- When could you use propagation?
Discuss what you have learned with a parent or teacher.
- How is asexual reproduction beneficial for organisms?
- What drawbacks might exist for organisms that use asexual reproduction exclusively?
In the Got It? section, you will learn more about a couple of important forms of asexual reproduction in depth.