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Distinguish between asexual and sexual reproduction. Why is vegetative propagation also considered a type of asexual reproduction?

Last updated date: 17th May 2024
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The main difference between asexual and sexual reproduction is the involvement of gametes and special organs. Fertilization occurs between the gametes. In one method, the offspring is the true copy of its parent, whereas, in the other method, the offspring possesses variations and is similar to its parents.

Complete answer:
Asexual reproduction is a mode of reproduction in which only one parent is involved.
There is no involvement of gametes, hence no fusion and no genetic variations. The offsprings are identical to the parent and each other.
There are no defined reproductive organs.
It occurs if primitive life forms such as bacteria, fungi, and primitive plants.
It is a less complex process than sexual reproduction.
Cell division during reproduction takes place through mitosis.
It is a rapid process.
Sexual reproduction is a mode of reproduction in which two parents are involved.
There is an involvement of male and female gametes that fuse to form a zygote. Since there is a fusion of genetic material, the offspring are not identical to the parents (but are similar) and show variations.
Fully developed reproductive organs are present in both males and females.
It occurs in higher organisms like multicellular species (like humans), some fungi, and plants.
It is a more complex process than asexual reproduction.
Cell division during reproduction takes place through meiosis and mitosis.
It is a comparatively slower process.
Vegetative propagation is a form of reproduction observed in plants wherein any part of the plant (other than the seed) can be used to give rise to a new plant. The parts of the plant that are used in vegetative propagation are leaves, roots, and stems.
Vegetative propagation is an asexual mode of reproduction as the plant is solely capable of giving rise to an offspring, hence only one parent is required. Also, no gametes are involved in the process.

Note: Various animals undergo a metamorphosis during their life-cycle. The most famous example is that of a butterfly. It is born as a leaf-eating caterpillar, wraps itself in a cocoon for days, and comes out as a butterfly with wings, legs, exoskeleton, and a nectar sucking proboscis.