Asexual reproduction is a form of reproduction that only requires a single parent and never involves reduction or ploidy, where the offspring will only have the traits and characteristics from the parent except in terms of the case of automixis. This is the most common process through which single cell organisms, such as prokarayotes, bacteria and fungi, would reproduce, where all prokaryotes have been reproducing asexually without formation and fusion of gametes. It is highly rare to find asexual reproduction among multicellular organisms, such as animals.
Now, there are several advantages and advantages provided by asexual reproduction. It is highly essential to know about both sides of the coin before using such a process to be able to get the most out of its results. You will be able to use this knowledge when you need it most in the future.
List of Advantages of Asexual Reproduction
1. It allows for rapid populating.
This form of reproduction offers the ability to produce large quantities of offspring. All you need to do is put a particular organism in a very suitable habitat, and it would rapidly reproduce more new individuals. This means that you can fill up a niche quickly and prevent competition and intruders from invading.
2. It does not require mobility.
With asexual reproduction, you can reproduce organisms in just a single area, and you do not need to move to other places just to see the process occur. Take note that many plants and animals that rarely move to other places are the ones mostly able to create offspring on their own.
3. It does not need mates.
Finding a mate can be very difficult, especially for organisms that are living in desolate environments, such as deep ocean ecosystems. Now, asexual reproduction takes the need to find a mate away, allowing organisms to multiply on their own when it is time.
4. It is friendly to the environment.
When it comes to this form of reproducing, there are no concerns with regards to its impact on the environment. On the other hand sexual reproduction would cause some organisms not to survive in harsh environments due to their susceptibility, fragile stages in the process and their delicate organs.
5. It is pretty handy in case of emergency.
In difficult situations, asexual plants and animals are still able to keep themselves alive and continue to produce offspring without other reproductive sources. Basically, there is no big problem regarding environmental emergencies when it comes to asexual reproduction.
6. It does not require any true investment.
Those that reproduce asexually do not have to carry their offspring for long period of time, unlike those that breed through sexual reproduction, which are also mostly limited to one offspring. As you can see, there is no need for much energy and time to produce offspring, plus certain asexual plants and animals can even produce as many clones or offspring as they can without considering any investment to make on your end. Moreover, this process of reproducing has not been complex, which only requires less energy compared with its counterpart.
List of Disadvantages of Asexual Reproduction
1. It hinders diversity.
Since the characteristics and traits of only one parent is passed on to its offspring, asexual reproduction would hinder genetic diversity all of its generations. This causes for the population of the organisms to be exactly identical. With sexual reproduction, this has been a huge advantage, as we are able to mix gene pools to ensure a diverse ecosystem.
2. It poses some inheritance issues.
Most of the time, it would only require a single asexual parent from which we can copy chromosomes and genes, which means the genetic defects or mutations that are bred out in asexual reproduction would still exist in the offspring without any exception. This disadvantage can even lead to more unfavorable mutations, which make asexually produced organisms susceptible to diseases, which also means a huge number of offspring would be destroyed.
3. It can lead organisms to being prone to extinction.
All of the same traits and characteristics also entail all of the same weaknesses, so we can assume that a certain parasite or predator that has evolved to kill a particular asexual organism will be able to take out its entire population. In simple terms, asexual reproduction can lead to struggle for existence.
4. It carries problems with population control.
Basically, this form of reproduction has no control over the rapid increases of population of the subject organisms. As competition in the breeding process does not exist, each organism is highly proficient in reproducing by itself, which means that its population will even be doubled in each reproductive cycle. However, it has been found out by scientists that the process would stop at a certain point where its number becomes excessive.
5. It causes organisms to not being able to adapt.
With asexual reproduction, organisms are able to establish reactions to certain things, which are then passed down to their offspring. And because there is less variation produced with the offspring, they would become less adapted to certain changes in the environment, causing them not to survive.
6. It would result to poor conditions for the subjects.
The process of asexually reproducing organisms can lead to unfavorable conditions for the subjects, such as extreme temperatures, which can eliminate their entire communities.
The main difference between asexual and sexual reproduction is that the former does not need for two parents, as well as special cells, to be able to breed, which means that it only uses simple mitosis, where special mechanisms to combine sex cells and allow fertilization are no longer needed. Most of the time, plants are believed to undergo such a process, but it is also important to note that there are also several kinds of animals that reproduce asexually. By learning about the advantages and disadvantages of asexual reproduction, it will be easier for us to take care of the organisms around us. Now, you already have some useful information when you plan to use this process when breeding particular species.
Keith Miller has over 25 years experience as a CEO and serial entrepreneur. As an entreprenuer, he has founded several multi-million dollar companies. As a writer, Keith's work has been mentioned in CIO Magazine, Workable, BizTech, and The Charlotte Observer. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our content editing team a message here.