The reproduction Is the process through which identical or almost identical replicas of an organism are created. In other words, the reproduction is a process that allows to generate new individuals.
In general terms, reproduction is one of the most relevant concepts in the biology , Since it guarantees the continuity of a species.
There are two types of reproduction: asexual and sexual reproduction. The asexual reproduction Is a process in which cell division occurs to generate an individual identical to its parent. In unicellular organisms, this process is called binary fission because the stem cell divides into two, giving rise to a daughter cell.
Examples of organisms reproducing asexually are bacteria, starfish (which can produce a new organism from one of their arms), sponges, ferns, potatoes and onions.
On the other hand, Sexual reproduction Involves the union of a male cell and a female cell (called sperm and ovules respectively).
Many organisms reproduce sexually, like some plants and animals, including humans.
The perpetration of the species is the end of all living beings. Hence the importance of reproduction, which allows to create new individuals guaranteeing the survival of the species.
Reasons for the importance of reproduction
1- It allows to fulfill the cycle of the life
According to the cycle of life, all organisms are born, reproduce and die. In this sense, reproduction is an element relevant to the cycle of life because it allows the birth of new individuals, which will then be reproduced giving rise to other individuals, and so on.
2- Guarantees the next generation
Reproduction is the only method to guarantee the existence of a relay generation (excluding cloning, which is still an experimental work, although progress has been made in this area).
In this sense, the reproduction ensures the continuity of the species, avoiding that these are not extinguished.
3- Inheritance: It allows transmitting the characteristics of the parents to the children
The unique properties of the individuals contained in the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) are transmitted from one generation to another through reproduction, which allows the new individuals to inherit the characteristics of their parents.
4- It allows to create variations in the species
Through sexual reproduction, individuals are produced who have half the genetic load of their father and half of the genetic load of their mother, so the individual will not be an exact copy of either of their two parents.
This allows to create small variations variations between individuals of the species (which would not be achieved through cloning, for example).
5- The accumulation of variations within the same species generated give rise to new species
Over the years, the small variations that arise during reproduction add to other variations, giving rise to much more obvious changes that will eventually allow the emergence of a new species.
6- Asexual reproduction allows to create genetically modified crops
Asexual reproduction has been studied exhaustively by scientists and these studies have been used in the area of agriculture.
In this sense, seeds have been produced by asexual reproduction that have been genetically modified so that they are able to resist certain conditions (strong temperatures, pests, among others) which is beneficial for this field.
7- Cloning of organisms, tissues and organs
Studies based on asexual reproduction have also allowed advances in the cloning of animal organisms. One of the examples in this area is the Dolly sheep.
In addition to creating new organisms, studies of asexual reproduction are also directed at the creation of tissues and organs cloned from stem cells.
This would contribute to the lives of humans in many ways, such as organ transplantation. In this way, it would avoid the possibility of the patient rejecting the organ, since when cloned, it would be identical to the previous organ.
8- It is not a stage, it is the story of life!
Reproduction is not just a stage of life, as many people would be inclined to think, but it constitutes the life history of the species that inhabit the planet Earth.
As already explained, beings possess DNA molecules that contain genetic information that passes from one generation to another through reproduction, producing small changes.
In this sense, if all these small changes are organized chronologically, one can obtain the life history of a species.
9- Natural selection and reproduction
When Charles Darwin Formulated the theory of natural selection, indicated that for the evolution of species to occur, they had to be able to create non-identical copies of themselves, a concept which he called"variation"and corresponding to sexual reproduction.
As successive variations emerged and accumulated, new generations would benefit more. Darwin also pointed out that for these variations to be advantageous for successive generations, they must be inherited.
10- Group Immortality
Reproduction is a process that occurs in all living beings that not only helps to maintain the continuity of species but also creates a kind of group immortality.
When an organism reproduces, it passes part of its DNA to its descendants; In turn, this DNA molecule contains fragments of genetic information from their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents, so it can be said that, as a group, these organisms have become immortal.
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