Cell Growth and Reproduction

Introduction to Cell Growth and Reproduction

All living organisms have the ability to reproduce and grow. Mitosis is the process through which all eukaryotic organisms, including aquatic plants and algae, grow. 

Growth is a means of obtaining the resources needed for reproduction. Reproduction is the process of creating new, growing creatures. As a result, every organism's apparent "objective" is to populate the available world with its offspring, or "self." Each unit of inheritance, each gene, has been hypothesised to be selfish in this way. It behaves in a way that increases the likelihood of spreading to all available individuals in a population.

This article will study cell growth and reproduction in different organisms.

Growth and Reproduction of Microorganisms

Microorganisms reproduce numerous times during their developmental cycles, resulting in a substantial increase in population size. This section will study the growth and reproduction of bacteria in detail.

Growth and Reproduction of Bacteria

Bacteria reproduce through binary fission, an asexual mechanism. The chromosomal DNA multiplies during this process, and the bacterial membrane and cell wall grow inward to meet one another, dividing the cell in half. The procedure is finished when the two cells split.

One of the most notable characteristics of bacteria is their low generation time or the amount of time it takes for a microbial community to double in size. The time it takes bacteria to reproduce varies, but it usually takes between 30 minutes and three hours. The generation times of some bacteria are quite short. When splitting under ideal conditions, Escherichia coli, for example, has a generation time of roughly 20 minutes.

  1. The Growth Phase: A bacterial population's growth can be represented by several phases of a growth curve. The logarithms of the population's actual numbers are plotted along the side axis in the growth curve, with time plotted at the base. The growth curve shows four distinct stages of development.

  2. Lag Phase: The population remains constant during the first phase, known as the lag phase, while the bacteria adjust to their new surroundings. New cells are created to replace ones that are dying as a result of metabolic activity.

  3. The logarithmic phase, often known as the log phase, is when bacterial growth is at its peak and the population rapidly doubles. The population is at its metabolic peak during this phase, which is represented by a straight line. At this time, several research experiments are carried out.

  4. The proliferation of bacterial cells is offset by their mortality during the next phase, the stationary phase, and the population achieves a plateau. Bacterial death can be caused by the accumulation of waste, a shortage of nutrients, or the development of unfavourable environmental circumstances. If the situation does not change, the people will begin to dwindle or die. The bacteria die off quickly, the curve slopes downward, and the population's final cell dies soon after.

The graph below shows the microbial growth and reproduction of bacteria.

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Growth and Reproduction in Plants and Animals

Reproduction and Growth in Plants

Plants grow and reproduce asexually

They are capable of self-propagation by asexual reproduction. Plants need fewer energy and resources to reproduce asexually than they do to produce flowers, attract pollinators, or discover a way to disperse seeds. Plants produced by asexual reproduction are genetically identical “clones” of each other and the parent plant. Because asexual reproduction does not entail recombination to jumble the well-adapted parental genotypes, it is a competitive reproductive strategy in stable environmental conditions as compared to plants produced through sexual reproduction.

Garlic and other bulbs, such as a scaly bulb in lilies and a tunicate bulb in daffodils, proliferate from the roots. Other edible examples include potato, parsnip, and ginger, while the strawberry plant generates a rooted runner to proliferate asexually.

Plants Grow and Reproduce Sexually

Plants and animals are vastly different. In their life cycles, they exhibit two separate multicellular phases, a process known as alternation of generations. The multicellular haploid gametophyte and the multicellular diploid sporophyte are the two phases. This is in stark contrast to most animal reproduction systems, which have only one multicellular stage, a diploid organism that generates single-celled haploid gametes.

  • By mitosis, the haploid gametophyte creates male and female gametes in alternate generations. The diploid zygote, which develops into the sporophyte, is formed when the male and female gametes combine.

  • By meiosis, the diploid sporophyte develops spores after attaining maturity. Mitosis is used to form the haploid gametophyte from those spores. The cycle resumes when a fresh gametophyte develops gametes.

  • The sporophyte stage dominates the life cycles of angiosperms (flowering plants) and gymnosperms (conifers), with the gametophyte carried by the sporophyte. The gametophyte in ferns is free-living and structurally separate from the diploid sporophyte. The haploid gametophyte in mosses is more advanced than the sporophyte.

Growth Reproduction in Animals

Depending on the number of parents involved, there are different modes of reproduction. In animals is of two types of reproduction :

  1. Sexual Reproduction.

  2. Asexual Reproduction.

Reproductive Organs

A pair of testes, sperm ducts, and a penis make up the male reproductive organs. The testes are responsible for producing sperm. The sperms have a head, a central section, and a tail and are very little.

A pair of ovaries, oviducts and the uterus make up the female reproductive organs. The ovaries are responsible for producing eggs (ova). The uterus is where the baby grows and develops. Every month, a developed egg is discharged into the oviduct.

The Sexual Reproduction Process in Animals

There are millions of sperm in the sperm. During fertilisation, a single sperm unites with the ova. The egg and sperm nuclei fuse together to create a single nucleus. As a result, a zygote is created.

There are Two Forms of Fertilisation

  1. Internal Fertilization

Internal fertilisation is the process of fertilisation that takes place inside the female's body. Humans, cows, dogs, and other animals are examples. In terrestrial animals, this approach is more common. Some aquatic species, on the other hand, use this strategy. This can happen either by the male directly introducing sperms into the female reproductive canal or by the male depositing sperms in the environment, which the female picks up in her reproductive tract.

Internal Fertilisation Can Produce Offspring in Three Different Ways:

Oviparity - The fertilised eggs are deposited outside, where they are fed by the yolk.

Ovoviviparity - The fertilised eggs are kept in the female's body, where they are fed by the yolk. Before the eggs are hatched, they are laid.

Viviparity– Instead of hatching from the eggs, the kids are born directly. The mother provides them with food. Mammals are examples of this.

  1. External Fertilization

External fertilisation refers to fertilisation that occurs outside of the female. Frogs and fish, for example. The majority of fertilisation occurs during the spawning process. Spawning is triggered by environmental signals such as water temperature.

Embryo Development 

The zygote divides into a ball of cells after each division. The developing embryo is what this is called. These cells differentiate into tissues and organs that are exclusive to them. In the uterine wall, the embryo is implanted. Implantation is the term for this procedure.

A foetus is formed when all of the embryo's bodily parts become visible. In humans, the child develops after nine months.

Asexual Reproduction in Animals 

Asexual reproduction is the second most common method of reproduction in animals, behind sexual reproduction. Lower creatures and unicellular bacteria are the most common examples of this sort of reproduction.

It is the process by which a new individual is generated without the involvement of the gamete formation by a single parent. Genetically and morphologically, the individuals created are identical. It's found in single-celled organisms. There is no fertilisation and the cells divide by mitotic division. The division happens very quickly.

The Following are the Different Types of Asexual Reproduction:

  1. Binary Fission

Amoeba and euglena are examples. The parent cell goes through mitosis and grows in size. The nucleus divides as well. Two identical daughter cells, each with a nucleus, are obtained. Binary fission is the most common method of reproduction for prokaryotes like bacteria.

  1. Budding 

In this case, the offspring emerges from the parent's body. Until it grows, it remains linked to the parent. It separates from the parent after maturation and lives as a separate entity. Hydras use this method of reproduction the most.

  1. Fragmentation

When the body of an organism, such as a Planarian, breaks into many parts, each piece matures into an individual progeny. Fragmentation is the term for this. It can happen as a result of predator-caused harm or as a natural form of reproduction. A damaged arm evolves into a whole organism in a few creatures, such as the sea star.

  1. Regeneration

It is a type of fragmentation that is found predominantly in Echinoderms. When a portion of an organism, such as an arm, separates from its parent body, it develops into a new person. This is referred to as regeneration.

Did You Know?

Mitosis is the division of one cell into two cells. To ensure that the two new cells have full copies of the relevant genetic information, the original cell's chromosomes are duplicated.

Mitosis is a cell division mechanism that produces genetically identical new cells. Mitosis aids in the growth of organisms and the repair of damaged tissue. Some algae species have the ability to develop very quickly.

Asexual reproduction is possible for some organisms through mitosis. Asexual reproduction produces genetically identical offspring who are genetically similar to their parents. Asexual reproduction is achieved by replicating genetic material and dividing it in half in most single-celled bacteria. Phytoplankton, for example, reproduces mostly asexually. Fragmentation or budding is asexual reproduction in various single-celled eukaryotes, such as plants and animals.

The generation of offspring through the combining of sex cells or gametes is known as sexual reproduction. Meiosis is the process of creating gametes, which contain half of the genetic material required to generate a new organism.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Question1: What are the Characteristics of Bacterial Growth and Reproduction?

Ans: Bacteria primarily reproduce through binary fission, an asexual process in which a single cell divides into two. In optimal conditions, some bacterial species can divide every 10–15 minutes, resulting in a population doubling every 10–15 minutes.

Question2: What Temperature is Best for Bacterial Growth and Reproduction?

Ans: Information is important. Bacteria grow most quickly at temperatures between 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, doubling in number in as little as 20 minutes. The "Danger Zone" is the name given to this temperature range. Visit the Food Safety and Inspection Service fact sheet titled Danger Zone to learn more about the "Danger Zone."

Question3: In Plants, What is Reproductive Growth?

Ans: Plant reproduction is the process of producing new progeny in plants, which can be done sexually or asexually. Except when mutations occur, asexual reproduction generates new individuals without the fusing of gametes, genetically identical to the parent plants and each other.