Describe the advantages and disadvantages of sexual reproduction and asexual reproduction in plants?

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justaguide | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

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Plants can reproduce using two methods. In asexual reproduction there is no requirement for an exchange of genetic information between two different organisms. An organism is capable of producing offspring on its own. In plants, this is done using tubers and segments of branches, for example in species like potatoes and bamboo, or by fragmentation where a plant breaks into two and each fragment grows into a new plant.

In sexual reproduction two organisms of the species are required that exchange gametes which combine to form a seed. In plants the pollen transport male gametes to the female flower that leads to the formation of seeds.

Each of the methods has advantages as well as disadvantages. Asexual reproduction is easier and requires less energy as gametes of one organism does not have to be transported to another. The disadvantages of this method of reproduction is that the offspring are usually very close to parent plant that results in competition for resources and can affect the health of  both the plants. Asexual reproduction results in exact copies of the parent plant. As there are no changes in genetic profile this process does not result in the better characteristics increasing and the bad characteristics decreasing over time. Evolution does not take place with asexual reproduction.

Sexual reproduction requires more energy and takes place over a longer duration of time. There is also a reduced chance of it being successful. But sexual reproduction gradually alters the genetic profile of the plant and there is an increase in the number of genes that lead to more favorable characteristics while those that lead to unfavorable characteristics decrease in number.

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