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15-Sep-2017 08:24 by 10 Comments

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Each cell in the offspring has half the chromosomes of the mother and half of the father.

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However, no third gamete is known in multicellular animals.

Disregarding intermediates, the basic distinction between asexual and sexual reproduction is the way in which the genetic material is processed.

Typically, prior to an asexual division, a cell duplicates its genetic information content, and then divides. In sexual reproduction, there are special kinds of cells that divide without prior duplication of its genetic material, in a process named meiosis.

Sex comprises the arrangements that enable sexual reproduction, and has evolved alongside the reproduction system, starting with similar gametes (isogamy) and progressing to systems that have different gamete types, such as those involving a large female gamete (ovum) and a small male gamete (sperm).

In complex organisms, the sex organs are the parts that are involved in the production and exchange of gametes in sexual reproduction.

Some bacteria use conjugation to transfer genetic material between cells; while not the same as sexual reproduction, this also results in the mixture of genetic traits.

The defining characteristic of sexual reproduction in eukaryotes is the difference between the gametes and the binary nature of fertilization.

As sexual reproduction developed by way of a long process of evolution, intermediates exist.

Bacteria, for instance, reproduce asexually, but undergo a process by which a part of the genetic material of an individual (donor) is transferred to an other (recipient).

This double-chromosome stage is called "diploid", while the single-chromosome stage is "haploid".

Diploid organisms can, in turn, form haploid cells (gametes) that randomly contain one of each of the chromosome pairs, via meiosis.

For instance, mate choice and sexual selection can accelerate the evolution of physical differences between the sexes.