Asexual reproduction only requires DNA from one parent. It creates offspring that are genetically identical to the parent. Genetically identical offspring are called clones. Clones lack genetic diversity. This makes them more susceptible to disease. It also makes them less adaptable to changes in the environment.
There are different methods of asexual reproduction. They include vegetative propagation and fragmentation.
Vegetative propagation does not require seeds or spores. Instead, offspring grow from a part of the parent plant. In different plants, vegetative propagation happens in different ways. Here are a few examples.
- Garlic, onions and tulip plants all reproduce using true bulbs. These short underground stems are also called scaly bulbs. They have a basal plate that is usually surrounded by modified leaves. These leaves form a papery covering called a tunic. New bulbs grow off of the parent bulb’s basal plate.
- Crocuses reproduce using corms, which are similar to true bulbs. However, a corm doesn’t have as many layers. Corms are used up during the growing season and get replaced by one or more new corms.
- Potato plants reproduce using tubers. These underground growths produce new plants from stems or growing points called eyes.
- Ginger plants reproduce using rhizomes. These stems that grow sideways along the soil or just below the surface. They branch apart to produce new points of growth.
- Strawberry plants reproduce using stolons. They look like branches growing along the ground. Stolons anchor themselves to the ground and develop roots. And these roots grow into new plants.