• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month


Extracts from this document...


DISCUSS THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF SEXUAL AND ASEXUAL REPRODUCTION In order to avoid extinction species must reproduce and pass their genes on to the next generation, thus ensuring the survival of the population. For reproduction to occur cell division is necessary and this can be divided into two categories according to the behaviour of the chromosomes, they are known as mitosis and meiosis. Mitosis is when the daughter cells finish up containing exactly the same number of chromosomes as the parent cell, typically two of each type, known as the diploid state. Mitosis takes place when an organism grows or reproduces asexually. Meiosis is when each daughter cell ends up with exactly half the number of chromosomes as the parent cell, one of each type, which is known as the haploid state. Meiosis is associated with sexual reproduction and generally takes place in the formation of gametes or in some cases' spores. Asexual reproduction is the process of one individual organism producing one or more new individuals. It does not involve the combination of genetic material from two different individuals and therefore the new individuals are clones of the parent organism. ...read more.


Many flowering plants can reproduce asexual as well as sexually. Asexual reproduction allows plants to increase their numbers or to survive between growing seasons. It gives them extra flexibility and allows them to reproduce and live even outside the flowering season. Vegetative propagation produces new plants without forming flowers and seeds. A single parent has offspring that are genetically identical, both to it and to each other. Other plants can regenerate or repair themselves, stems or leaves that are broken off can root and grow into new plants. By being able to reproduce asexually as well as sexually they have adapted themselves and taken advantage of nature to make sure they have a better chance of survival. In sexual reproduction there are two forms of fertilisation, cross fertilisation where the gametes come from two separate individuals and self fertilisation where both gametes come from the same individual. As plants can not move they use both forms of fertilisation and they have evolved many wonderful strategies to make sure that their genes pass to the next generation. ...read more.


There are many advantages and disadvantages to both asexual and sexual reproduction, the main advantages being the rapid increase of population and variation respectively. In my own opinion it is the organisms that can produce both asexually and sexually that have the advantage over other organisms that use only one form of reproduction. They can use sexual reproduction to gain variation that is needed for survival and they can use asexual reproduction to increase the population rapidly, and as a back up if sexual reproduction fails. To illustrate the pros and cons of both types of reproduction I would use the aphid as an example. They use asexual reproduction to give birth to wingless females which are born pregnant, they in turn give birth to winged females who can fly away and colonise new plants. As the days grow shorter towards the end of the summer aphids of both sexes are born who then reproduce sexually, laying their eggs which survive the winter to start the whole process again. We only have to go into our gardens in the summer to see how successful this process is as every garden will have at least some aphids present. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Variation and Inheritance section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

This is a well researched essay that is very well written.
1. The essay should use subheadings to lead the reader through the different sections.
2. The essay could benefit from the use of examples and images to illustrate concepts.
3. The language used is very concise and the essay flows very well.

Marked by teacher Luke Smithen 23/07/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Variation and Inheritance essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Embryo Screening. The embryo screening, also referred as PGD (preimplantation genetic diagnosis), is ...

    5 star(s)

    [7] There are many social and ethical issues and conflicts regarding the issue of whether PDG should be used or not. People who are pro-life are the ones that disagree about PGD. They believe that embryos should be given the same amount of value to a fetus, a child or a human being.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Biology Case Study

    4 star(s)

    Phase 1 of stage 1 is testing on human cells. Tests are done on human cells in a lab. Scientist would see the effects of different doses of the potential drug.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

    4 star(s)

    How bacteria become resistant to antibiotics? * Preventing antibiotic from getting its targets- Bacteria hide from the antibiotic just as we do with someone you know is going to kill you. One way they use is to prevent it from being taken up at all.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Research in Genetic Engineering Should Be Halted. Discuss

    3 star(s)

    The condition may be cured by replacing the gene that codes for the deficient protein. (Dudley 85) Genetic screening can also detect problems during a pregnancy. Discovery of genetic deformities at an early stage of pregnancy introduces the possibility of treating the fetus by replacing or repairing imperfect genes, aborting

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Cloning. Should it be banned? I will explain all the different types of cloning ...

    A specialized cell cannot change to do another job and this means cells that are cloned can only be used in the same way as its mother cell. Human reproductive cloning There are a lot of moral issues with this topic mostly affected by religion, I believe that it is

  2. Peer reviewed

    Cloning pros and cons

    5 star(s)

    In the following year, the biotechnology company PPL produced Polly, who was not only cloned, but genetically transformed ("engineered") en route. Polly had been fitted with a human gene that causes her to secrete a human blood-clotting factor in her milk, which potentially was of great value to haemophiliacs.

  1. The causes and consequences of variation

    This also increases variation between gametes and thus lead to variation between individual of the same species. Random fertilisation can also cause variation between a species. It is the indiscriminate fusion of the female and male gametes. This also gives rise to huge numbers of different possibilities of a gamete genotype.

  2. GeneticallyModified Organisms can only be harmful to humans

    This is because it may have inherited an antibiotic resistance gene, which will prevent the illness from being treated (3). Also GM technology is an interference to natural evolution as it is interfering with nature. Therefore it can be dangerous to humans as they can also develop allergies (5).

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work