What Is Reproduction In Organisms: Definition And Types

Reproduction is the act of producing offspring. This involves two individuals, or one individual acting as both genders.  There are mainly two types of reproduction in organisms: asexual and sexual reproduction. To know what is reproduction, it is important to understand the two types. 

What Are The Kinds Of Reproduction In Organisms?

There are majorly 2 types of reproduction: asexual and sexual reproduction that you need to learn about.

  1. Asexual Reproduction

It is a kind of reproduction where offspring are produced from one parent. This type of reproduction is common in single-celled organisms and low on the taxonomic scale.

A sexually reproducing individual can produce (eggs) or (sperm), either at different points in time or simultaneously.  The type of gamete created does not depend on the sex of the individual in question.

Types of Asexual Reproduction

1) Budding: In this type of asexual reproduction, the offspring is created through budding. The parent organism may create “buds” or outgrowths on its body which contain cells that can divide and become new organisms. Yeast, Hydra, flatworms, etc. reproduce through budding. 

2) Fragmentation: Fragmentation occurs when an individual breaks into two pieces, with each piece having some of the original’s cells. The offspring are clones or identical to the parent organism and can be male, female, or both. Molds, sea stars, cyanobacteria, etc. reproduce through fragmentation. 

3) Spore Formation: Spore-forming organisms reproduce asexually by producing spores or reproductive cells that find other individuals with which they can mate. 

The spores are often microscopic and can contain all the genetic information needed to create a new organism. They typically require water, warmth, and nutrients in order to grow into an adult form of their species. Examples of this type of reproduction include Rhizopus, Mucor, Algae, etc. 

4) Binary Fission: This type of asexual reproduction occurs when cells divide into two identical cells. In binary fission, the parent cell starts to duplicate its DNA by first duplicating chromosomes and then undergoing mitotic division. Mitosis produces an exact copy of the original chromosome; this process occurs for all chromosomes until they are fully replicated. Organisms that reproduce through binary fission include Bacillus subtilis,  Amoeba, B. pumilus, B. cereus, etc. 

5) Nuclei Division: This is an uncommon form of asexual reproduction in which the nucleus divides and creates two new nuclei for each generation without any cell division. 

Sexual Reproduction

Next on our list of different types of reproduction is sexual reproduction. In sexual reproduction, offspring are produced from two parents and have one set of chromosomes from each parent. This type is most common amongst plants and animals at higher taxonomic levels than include complex life-forms such as mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, or insects.

In sexual reproduction, the offspring is created through fertilization by two parents. In mammals and plants, for example, this occurs with one male gamete (sperm) uniting to create a zygote or seedling with one female gamete (egg).

Reproduction in Plants

To understand reproduction and its types, you need to be aware of different types of reproductions in both plants and animals. Here is an example of reproduction in plants.

Sexual: The parent plant has both female and male gametes. The genetic components from both of the gametes unite to develop offspring. This happens through a process known as fertilization. Moreover, flowering plants reproduce through a process called pollination. The flowers with male sex organs are referred to as stamens and they contain pollen in an anther. Flowers with female sex organs are called pistils. For the fertilization process, the pollens should be moved to the stigma present in the pistil. 

Asexual: Plants can also reproduce asexually by creating clones of themselves. In this type, one parent plant produces an offspring that is genetically identical to itself through some form of “budding” or sprouting (e.g., urchins from the round part at the bottom of their parents) in which new plants are created.

Reproduction in Humans

Asexual: Asexual fertilization in humans is produced by combining a few parts of sperm, egg, embryo or unnatural genes to produce a new human fetus. The regenerated fetus will undergo maturation and development through an assisted reproductive treatment like Invitro Fertilization or IVF. 

Sexual: In sexual reproduction, the offspring is created through fertilization by two parents. This occurs with one male gamete (sperm) uniting to create a zygote or seedling with one female gamete (egg). 

Frequently asked questions (FAQ’s)

What is the definition of reproduction?

According to reproduction definition, it is a scientific process by which an organism creates offspring that share its genes or genotype. Reproduction in organism can be asexual (no separation into male and female cells) or sexual (two parents).

Discuss the details of binary fission.

Binary fission is an asexual process where one parent cell divides into two daughter cells, each with identical copies of its DNA. Nuclei division is a type of asexual reproduction in which the nucleus splits without any cell division.