One of the modes of reproduction involve a single organism that is able to inherit the genes of the parent. This method is referred to as asexual reproduction, but it does not implicate reduction. The process will enable the offspring to become a copy of the parent. This is how single-celled organisms mostly follow as a main form of reproduction.
Organisms such as archaebacterial, eubacteria, and protists are examples of single-celled organisms that reproduce using asexual method. Additionally, there are other forms such as plants and fungi with asexual reproductive properties.
Scientists were able to test the lateral gene transfer mechanism in order to acquire sexual reproduction, which include conjugation, transduction, and transformation. Nevertheless, due to the insufficiency of the sexual reproduction, particularly on most animals, asexual reproduction was then considered for research instead.
But how does asexual reproduction actually impact the reproductive process? Will it be significant in the future? Hence, it is important to know the positive and negative impact of this type of reproductive process. Here are some of the pros and cons of asexual reproduction to begin with.
List of Pros of Asexual Reproduction
1. Procedure Is Simple
Based from research, this method is not as complex as others thought. In fact, it only requires less energy than the sexual reproductive method.
2. Variable Extensive Forms Are Allowed
Due to the ability of some organisms to reproduce asexually, they are able to take various forms. This mechanism will allow them to make an offspring in different environments.
3. Higher Chances of Survival
Although given a huge number of organisms, such species will still be able to survive even as conditions variate and predators differ.
4. Easier to Seek a Mate
When choosing asexual reproduction, it will be a lot easier to find a mate compared to sexual reproduction. Mates for certain types of organisms can be easily found because, unlike the other process, it does not have to be a male or a female subject. For sexual reproduction, it is difficult and sometimes impossible to find, particularly when colonizing new locations.
5. Method Is Very Useful
When it comes to asexual reproduction, organisms will be able to keep themselves alive. They do not need mates or help from others for reproduction. Plants, in this case, can clone themselves even with the absence of a pollinator.
6. No Need for Mobility
There is no need to transfer from one location to another with this type of reproduction. However, it requires an organism that often keeps a single location for survival. With this type of plants or animals, it is very difficult to reproduce themselves using sexual reproduction.
7. Minimal Amount of Resources Needed
When choosing this type of procedure, it does need a huge amount of time or energy. In fact, most asexual plants and animals are able to reproduce without consideration of energy or time to succeed.
8. Environmentally Friendly
There is no need to be worried about the environment when it comes to asexual reproduction. However, with sexual reproduction, there are possibilities for organisms not to survive in harsh environments. Some of the phases of sexual reproduction can sometimes make it impossible for organisms to survive due to susceptibility of their organs.
List of Cons of Asexual Reproduction
1. Suppresses Diversity
Due to the lack of genetic diversity for asexual organisms, it can’t be mixed with a gene pool. This makes sexual reproduction a lot advantageous, particularly when producing diversity among organisms.
2. Adaptation Can Be Difficult
As the environment changes, it will be a lot difficult for asexual organisms to adapt. Although there are some good in terms of living in a permanent habitat, it will also have some risks that can harm plants or animals. Such risks involve diseases and predators that could threaten their existence.
3. Genetic Clones
The problem with asexual reproduction is that it can result to negative mutations. For this reason, it will make asexual organisms prone to diseases. Moreover, it will have a huge impact of a lot of offspring.
4. It Will Be Risky for the Offspring
Once the offspring copies the genes and chromosomes of the parent, it can also copy whatever defect or genetic mutation that the parent can acquire during the process. So, any of these irregularities will also be present in the offspring.
5. Can Pose Competition on Resources
Due to the nature of some organisms that stay in a single location, it will pose a competition as they are closely living together. This will compromise the food and space that they share among asexual plants or animals.
6. Crowding Could be A Problem
The reproduction of organisms using asexual method can threaten their existence through overcrowding. As most asexual organisms stay in one location throughout its existence, it will make the location unsuitable for additional organisms to coexist.
7. May Lead to Overpopulation Problems
Asexual reproduction can cause the rapid increase in population of the said organisms. When left to breed on their own, they will be able to multiply in time which can affect the overall existence in its environment. So when they are capable of multiplying in each cycle of reproduction, it will be difficult to accommodate the offspring. However, researchers believe it will stop when the production becomes excessive.
8. Organisms will be Prone to Extinction
Having similar weaknesses and traits, asexually reproduced plants and animals might be prone to extinction. This is due to the fact of the existence of predators and parasites that could have evolved. So even if these evolved threats are just capable of killing one of these organisms, the whole bunch can still be threatened of extinction.
Basically, it does not require a couple of parents or any special cells to acquire reproduction for asexual organisms. In other words, it will not need special mechanisms to mix sex cells to allow fertilization. It only needs the process of mitosis that will mimic the parent. With that, it will require a certain process to make the said method work. Hence, learning about the pros and cons of asexual reproduction should be helpful in taking good care of asexual organisms and how to maintain their existence.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Masters Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.