Asexual Reproduction
by Marcos Reyes
Is a form of reproduction in which offspring grow from a single parent. The offspring receives genetic information from that single parent, asexual reproduction does not need meiosis or fertilization. It is most common in Bacteria, Archea Bacteria and Protists however it also occurs in Plants. Many different seed plants use a number of different methods of this form of reproduction(2). There are several reasons why seed plants may find this form of reproduction advantageous over sexual reproduction. Asexual reproduction which is not as complex and requires much less energy, would be preferable. When colonizing a new area, finding a mate for sexual reproduction may be difficult or impossible. If the environment is particularly harsh, the more delicate or susceptible organs or stages of sexual reproduction may not be able to
survive (1).
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Vegetative Reproduction
This type of asexual reproduction only occurs in plants, it happens without spores or seeds. Some plants grow their offspring from a specialized leaf, once the offspring is large enough it will split from the parent. Other plants like strawberries grow out of the rhizomes of the parent plant(2) . Plants that reproduce through vegetative reproduction are capable of creating colonies due to so many offspring growing near the parent plant(3). Vegetative reproduction also includes Budding, in which the parent plant splits into two and continues growing until both plants are capable of splitting again.
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Fragmentation
Plants grow their offspring from a fragment in their stem, leaf or roots; each fragment grows into a complete individual which will then break off from the parent and grow independently. One example is mosses which can be broken off by the wind and the fragments will start to grow if they land in a suitable environment(4). Another example is the willow tree, if one of the branches is broken off and has enough water, nutrients and sunlight it will start togrow roots and become a plant of its own(2).

Apomixis
It is the formation of new sporophyte without fertilization. This process only occurs in female plants and it is most common in ferns and flowering plants.

Parts in which Asexual Reproduction occurs:

-Runners:
Runners are stems that produce few leaves, in cases like the strawberry plant roots develop from the node in which a leaf would have grown and it becomes a new plant(1).
-Rhizomes:
They are underground stems that expand and grow roots and later on leaves. One example of this type of reproduction is grass(1).
-Plantlets:
Plants like Kalanchoe grow small versions of the parent plant on their leaves, Later on the small plants drop and begin to grow on their own(1).
-Tubers:
Potato plants grow a stem into the ground which then stores starch and new plants grow from it.

(1) http://kentsimmons.uwinnipeg.ca/16cm05/16labman05/lb4pg6.htm
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asexual_reproduction
(3)http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/A/AsexualReproduction.html
(4)http://www.biology-resources.com/plants-vegetative-reproduction.html