Among the vital functions of living beings is reproduction. There are two types of reproduction as they are carried out. On the one hand, we have sexual reproduction that takes place through the participation of gametes and on the other hand we have asexual reproduction. The asexual reproduction in plants it is found in a common way since it can carry it out. It has some special characteristics and types depending on the type of plant that we are analyzing.
Therefore, in this article we are going to tell you everything you need to know about asexual reproduction in plants and what its characteristics are.
Asexual reproduction in plants
The first of all is to know what asexual reproduction in plants is. Asexual or vegetative reproduction that occurs in certain animals, plants and other organisms is constituted by the separation of cells or part of the body of a developed individualand through the process of mitosis another genetically identical organism can be produced. This type of reproduction can be carried out in the case of a single parent, without the participation of sex cells or gametes in this process.
This type of reproduction is the only possible form of reproduction in the simplest organisms (such as bacteria). Among them, there is a process of fission or binary division in which the stem cells fragment into two or more cells. In yeasts and single-celled fungi, This process is called budding and a small bud is formed and grows on the mother’s body until it separates. In some primitive multicellular animals, such as sponges or capsules, division is also carried out by buds.
The cell division or mitosis that occurs in higher animals is very similar to the excision process, but it is not considered a mechanism of sexual reproduction. Among the plants, It is possible to observe both sexual and asexual reproduction mechanisms. In higher plants, sexual reproduction takes place through seeds, while asexual reproduction mechanisms are diverse.
Types of asexual reproduction of plants
This type of multiplication can give rise to various reproductive structures and methods. There are different mechanisms for asexual reproduction in plants that cause different types to exist. Let’s see what these types of reproduction are:
- Stolons: Slender, thin stems form along the soil surface, forming roots with wider root spacing. Then they will produce new individuals.
- Rhizomes: They are stems that have indefinite growth and develop below the ground. In this development they end up giving rise to another type of roots known as adventitious roots. They stand out because they are those in charge of growing new plants.
- Cuttings: They are the parts or fragments of the stem that produce new individuals. For this reason, drill cuttings must be buried in the ground and can be treated with hormones.
- Grafts: It consists of inserting shoots into the grooves formed in the stems of the rooting plants. This is something very typical of fruit trees.
- Leaves and roots– In some species, there are leaves that can play a role in vegetative reproduction. In this case, the plants will grow on the leaves until they are fully developed and can be separated. Then they fell to the ground and took root. This also happened to some trees.
- Sporulation: The organisms form spores, the spores are small and easy to spread, when favorable conditions are found, new individuals are produced. Spore formation is a typical feature of ferns and mosses.
- Spread them: They are small buds that come from the thallus with the ability to spread. It is typical of bryophyte plants and ferns.
- Parthenogenesis and apomixis: the individual manages to give rise to seeds without fertilization of the ovule.
- Gemmation: This is an uneven division, formed by the buds, bumps or bumps of the mother plant. These plants can be separated from the main plants during growth and development and become new individuals, but they are equivalent.
By obtaining genetically identical plants, it is possible to produce new plants that adapt to certain environments, which is a fast and efficient mechanism. Therefore, this type of propagation It is ideal for environments that are not suitable for the propagation of seeds.
We are going to give some examples of the plants that have asexual reproduction:
- Kalanchoe: it is a type of plant that belongs to the group of succulents and can be reproduced from seedlings. It can also reproduce by some leftover pieces of its leaves. This evolutionary advantage helps it to be able to extend its distribution area over wide areas.
- Tulips: they reproduce asexually by bulbs. Bulbs are fleshy stems that grow underground and give rise to new plants. This type of reproduction also makes it quite easy to divide the plants.
- Lion teeth: they reproduce asexually by apomixis or spores.
- Cypress: they reproduce through male apomixis and form an embryo until reaching a female cone located in another cypress.
- Potato: it is the tuber best known to humans. It can be reproduced and sexually by buried stems.
- Green algae: Let’s not forget the type of reproduction that algae have. They reproduce by means of spores and give rise to new individuals totally identical to the previous ones.
- Sugar cane: it is quite popular and its reproduction is done in an accelerated way. Thanks to this plant we obtain sugar and they reproduce in plantations with pieces of the individual farm. Its easy propagation allows commercial exploitation.
- Onion: another of the most exploited plants in the world. It has great commercial and nutritional popularity and one of its reasons is the easy reproduction by means of the remains of its root.
- Bad mother: They are plants that are used for home cultivation and decoration. It generates new individuals from roots and branches. It is currently considered an invasive plant. This means to displace the native plants of an ecosystem.