Asexual reproduction occurs when an organism makes more of itself without exchanging genetic information with another organism through sex.
In sexually reproducing organisms, the genomes of two parents are combined to create offspring with unique genetic profiles. This is beneficial to the population because genetically diverse populations have a higher chance of withstanding survival challenges such as disease and environmental changes. Asexually reproducing organisms can suffer a dangerous lack of diversity — but they can also reproduce faster than sexually reproducing organisms, and a single individual can found a new population without the need for a mate.
Some organisms that practice asexual reproduction can exchange genetic What does the term asexual reproduction mean to promote diversity using forms of horizontal gene transfer such as bacteria who use plasmids to pass around small bits of DNA.
However this method results in fewer unique genotypes than sexual reproduction. Some species of plants, animals, and fungi are capable of both sexual and asexual reproduction, depending on the demands of the environment. Asexual reproduction is practiced by most single-celled organisms including bacteria, archaebacteriaand protists. It is also practiced by some plants, animals, and fungi. This is especially useful for species whose survival strategy is to reproduce very fast.
Many species of bacteria, for example, can completely rebuild a population from just a single mutant individual in a matter of days if most members are wiped out by a virus.
This is useful for species whose members may find themselves isolated, such as fungi that grow from wind-blown spores, plants that rely on pollinators for sexual reproduction, and animals inhabiting environments with low population density.
Asexual reproduction, which can often be accomplished just by having part of the parent organism split off and take on a life of its own, takes fewer resources than nurturing a new baby organism.
Many plants and sea creatures, for example, can simply cut a part of themselves off from the parent organism and have that part survive on its own. Only offspring that are genetically identical to the parent can be produced in this way: This ability to simply split in What does the term asexual reproduction mean is one reason why asexual reproduction is faster than sexual reproduction.
The biggest disadvantage of asexual reproduction is lack of diversity. Because members of an asexually reproducing population are genetically identical except "What does the term asexual reproduction mean" rare mutants, they are all susceptible to the same diseases, nutrition deficits, and other types of environmental hardships.