There is more than one way for living organisms to produce offspring. These can be put into two distinct categories- sexual reproduction and asexual reproduction. In the case of asexual reproduction, the offspring is identical to its parent. In sexual reproduction, the offspring is “the sum” of two parents, to put it roughly. That is, both parents contribute genetic information to their offspring when reproduction is sexual. Sexual and asexual reproduction each has its advantages and disadvantages. For this reason some living organisms undergo both strategies of reproduction. Scientists still argue on the subject of the evolution of sexual reproduction, since asexual reproduction is preferable for the species as every organism can bear its own offspring. There are more differences between sexual and asexual reproduction and we will take a closer look at them.
Sexual reproduction is a type of reproduction that requires two representatives of the species for producing offspring. Biologically, reproductive cells of female egg and male sperm fuse, and as a result- they produce the DNA that contains genetic material from both sexes. Most representatives of mammals and fish reproduce in this way.
Asexual reproduction requires only one parent. Any offspring inherits the genetic information of the single living organism and as a result, it is the replica of its parent. Single-celled organisms are almost entirely reproduced asexually. Most plants and fungi are reproduced asexually as well.
|Sexual Reproduction||Asexual Reproduction|
|Two parents are required to produce offspring||One parent is required to produce offspring|
|Allows for variations||Doesn’t allow for variations|
|Requires more energy on the part of the parents to complete the process||Requires less energy on the part of the parent to complete the process|
Let’s compare them by the number of parents required to produce offspring, by the genetic possibility for variations and by the energy consuming aspect.
- The crucial difference between sexual and asexual reproduction is that sexual reproduction requires two parents to complete the process of reproduction, at least at the initial stage of the reproductive process. In the case of asexual reproduction, only one parent is needed. Asexual reproduction is convenient for those living organisms that do not move anywhere, such as plants. They are not able to look for mates; therefore they have to reproduce themselves.
- Asexual reproduction results in almost no variation among organisms of the species. In cases where the environment changes, or there is a disease, the whole population of the asexually reproduced species can be wiped out. Sexual reproduction, on the other hand, takes two sets of genes to complete, and variations among the resulting offspring are infinite. This leads to the higher capacity for adaptation to the changing environment and better defense mechanisms than those of asexually reproduced species.
- In the case of asexual reproduction, a living organism doesn’t have to look for a mate in order to produce offspring. There is no need for grooming, competing, worrying about healthy conditions for raising offspring. The total amount of energy spent by the living organism on asexual reproduction is significantly less than that of sexual reproduction.
In this video you can see the detailed analysis of Sexual Reproduction vs Asexual Reproduction: