Reproduction in Organisms

In simple language, the definition of reproduction is “The process by which living organisms produce their offspring for the continuity of their species is known as reproduction.” It is one of the most important characteristics of organisms. In this process, the genetic material transmits from the parental generation to the next generation.

There are two types of reproduction-

  • Asexual
  • Sexual
Asexual Reproduction

In asexual reproduction, gamete formation does not take place. No gamete formation and fertilization are found in this type of reproduction.

  • In this type of reproduction, offspring are produced by a single organism.
  • This type of reproduction is found in lower organisms or unicellular organisms.
  • In this type of reproduction, the offspring is identical to the parent.
  • Less variation is found in this type of reproduction.

Types of asexual reproduction: 

Asexual reproduction can be of the following types: Binary fission, budding, fragmentation, regeneration, and sporogenesis, vegetative propagation.

FissionIn this type of asexual reproduction has various forms as fission, binary fission, and multiple fission.

  • Binary fission In it, the cell splits into two equal halve during cell division. Each cell contains a copy of its parent cell. fission is observed in many lower organisms like protozoa and bacteria. Ex. Amoebae, leishmania (cause kala-azar)

  • The malarial parasite, Plasmodium, reproduces by dividing into many daughter cells simultaneously by multiple fission.

Budding- In this type of reproduction, a small bud develops as an outgrowth of body in the result of repeated cell division. Very soon it separates and grows into a new individual. Example- Hydra.

budding in hydra

Fragmentation– In this type of reproduction, the organism simply breaks into several small individuals after maturation. Example- Spirogyra.

Regeneration- If an organism can be cut into various parts and each part gets regenerated i.e. Each piece grows in to complete organism; the process is called regeneration. Ex. Planaria

regeneration in planaria

regeneration in Planaria

SporogenesisIt is a very simple type of reproduction found even in some multicellular also by spore formation. These spores are thread-like structure, having a tiny blob-like structure that gets involved in reproduction. Example- Rhizopus.

Vegetative propagation-It is also an asexual process of reproduction, In plants, vegetative propagation takes place through runner, rhizome, sucker, tuber, offset, bulb these are called vegetative propagules. Ex- Bryophyllum.

Sexual reproduction

In sexual reproduction, offspring are produced by the formation of gametes and subsequent fusion of gametes. During fertilization, the male and female gametes unite to form a zygote which develops into a mature organism. Most animals and higher plants reproduce their progeny by sexual reproduction.

  • In sexual reproduction, two parents are involved as male and female.
  • In this type of reproduction, diversity is found on a large scale, as two offspring cannot be similar, variation occurs in parent and offspring also.
  • The germ-cells from two individuals combine during sexual reproduction to form a new individual in sexual reproduction.
Sexual reproduction in flowering plants (Angiosperms)

The flower is the reproductive part of a plant. In papaya, the flower is unisexual which contains either stamen or pistil and it may be bisexual as in mustard, hibiscus. Parts of flower – sepals, petals, stamens, and pistil.

Calyx – consisting of sepals, Corolla – consisting of petals, Androecium – consisting of stamens, Gynoecium or pistil – consisting of carpels. Stamens and pistil found in flowers are the reproductive parts that contain germ cells.

longitudinal section of flower- Reproduction in organisms

Stamen:  is the male reproductive part of the flower and it produces pollen grains that are yellowish in colour.

The pistil: It is present in the center of a flower and it is the female reproductive part.

  • The pistil is made up of three parts – first, the swollen bottom part is the ovary, second, the middle elongated part is the style, and third, the terminal part which may be sticky is the stigma.

Ovary and Ovules: the ovary contains an ovule and there is one egg in each ovule.

PollinationTransfer of pollen grains from the anther to the stigma of a flower may follow various ways. for example- Pollination by wind, Pollination by insects (Entomophily), Pollination by Water (Hydrophily), Pollination by Animals (Zoophile). Pollination may be of two types:

  • Self-pollination
  • Cross-pollination

Reproduction in flowering plats

Self-Pollination-Transfer of the Pollen grains to the stigma of the same or from another flower on the same plant. Ex. pea and gram

Cross-Pollination-Transfer of Pollen grains from a flower to the stigma of another flower of another plant of the same species Ex. palm and maize


In flowers, the process of fertilization initiates as after the pollen comes on a suitable stigma, it has to reach the female germ cells which are in the ovary. For this, a tube grows out of the pollen grain and travels through the style to reach the ovary.

Important facts of fertilization in flowering plants:

  • Each pollen grain forms a small tube-like structure called a pollen tube which emerges through the germ pore.
  • The pollen tube grows through the tissues of the stigma and style and finally enters the ovule through the micropyle.
  • Here two types of fusion, syngamy, and triple fusion take place in an embryo sac, the process is termed double fertilization. After triple fusion, the triploid primary endosperm cell develops into an endosperm.
  • It Gives stimulus for the growth of the ovary, leading to fruit formation.

After fertilizationEvents found are the development of endosperm and embryo and maturation of the ovule into seed and ovary into a fruit. i.e. ovule makes seed and ovary make fruits.

The seed contains the future plant or embryo which develops as a seedling under appropriate conditions and the process is known as germination

***Tissue culture– In tissue culture, new plants are grown by removing tissue or separating cells from the growing tip of a plant. These cells get placed in an artificial medium where they divide rapidly to form a small group of cells or callus. Then the callus is transferred to another medium containing hormones for growth and differentiation. The plantlets are then placed in the soil so that they can grow into mature plants.

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