Sexual reproduction

Definition

noun

A mode of reproduction involving the fusion of female gamete (ovum) and male gamete (spermatozoon), which forms a zygote that potentially develops into an offspring genetically distinct from the parent organisms


Supplement

Sexual reproduction is a mode of reproduction that involves fusion of female gamete (ovum) and male gamete (spermatozoon). The fusion of these gametes during occurs during fertilization. The result of the fusion is the formation of a zygote. The zygote develops into an offspring that is genetically distinct from the parent organisms. This is in contrast to asexual reproduction, which is a mode of reproduction that does not involve the fusion of gametes to produce an offspring.

Sexual reproduction is the means of reproduction of most eukaryotic species. There are certain eukaryote species that are capable of reproducing asexually (e.g. through parthenogenesis). Prokaryotes (known for reproducing asexually) have been found to reproduce sexually. Some prokaryotic species reproduce akin to sexual reproduction. These are by bacterial conjugation, bacterial transformation, and archaeal gene transfer and genetic exchange.

It usually entails processes such as meiosis and fertilization. Meiosis is an important process to generate gametes that are haploid and genetically different (through genetic recombinations) so that during fertilization, the newly formed zygote will contain the original number of chromosomes but with a genome that is different from either parent.


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