What is Sexual Reproduction?
Sexual reproduction is the type of reproduction in which the development of a new individual takes place by the fusion of two sex cells, the male and female gametes. It is the usual method of reproduction in complex multicellular organisms.
Characteristics of Sexual Reproduction:
It has the following basic characteristics-
- It is biparental, i.e. involves two parents.
- It takes place by the fusion of male and female gametes.
- It involves meiosis during the formation of gametes and mitosis during the development of the zygote.
- It is a source of variations as the offspring receive chromosomes from two different parents.
- It plays an important role in evolution due to chance segregation of chromosomes and chance fusion of gametes.
Significance of Sexual Reproduction:
In multicellular organisms, sex is directly associated with reproduction. The basic sexual process involves the combination in one cell of the genetic material of two parents. Thus in sexual reproduction, two different lines of heredity are brought together. It results in genetic variation in a population. Genetic variation forms the basis for evolution. Asexual reproduction keeps such variations at a minimum whereas sexual reproduction maximizes it.