Tuesday, January 6, 2009

How the reproduction takes place In Living Organisms

Reproduction is one of the most important characteristics of living organisms. It can be defined as the ability of microorganisms to produce individuals of the same species. This process transfers the genetic material from the parental generation to the next generation. Reproduction is necessary to maintain the genetic continuity among a species and it allows the increase in the total number of members in a species or variety. The process of reproduction involves the participation of special types of cells and processes of cell division involving genetic recombination. Therefore, reproduction can act as means to generate genetic variations and diversity among species.

There are different methods of reproduction among various types of living organisms. It can be broadly classified into asexual reproduction, sexual reproduction, and vegetative reproduction.

Reproduction in Microbes :
Microorganisms such as bacteria and other single-celled organisms mainly reproduce by asexual methods. In bacteria, a single organism divides into two identical cells, the progenies. This type of asexual reproduction is called binary fission. By this reproduction, the number of bacteria increases exponentially and this phase of growth is called the exponential growth phase or logarithmic growth. In the asexual method of reproduction there is no mixing of genetic materials of two cells; therefore, all progenies are of the same genetic makeup. If any variation is observed in the population of an asexually reproducing organisms, it may be due to random variations caused by mutation that occurs during DNA replication.

There is a primitive type of sexual reproduction in bacteria known as conjugation. It does not involve the fusion of any gametes or fertilization. But the essential feature of sexual reproduction, namely genetic recombination (mixing of genetic material), occurs. During the process of conjugation a part of genetic material (DNA) is transferred to the recipient cell through a temporarily formed conjugation tube established between the cells.

Keywords: Bio Genetics, Bio Technology, Reproduction

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