What is the difference between sexual and asexual reproduction?
At the most basic level, sexual reproduction involves the fusion of gametes
(sperm and egg in animals) to form a zygote (fertilized egg). Asexual reproduction
involves multiplication by simple division (for example, budding). The result of sexual
reproduction is a unique offspring different from either parent. The result of asexual
reproduction is offspring identical to the parent (and to each other). Some organisms
reproduce exclusively by sexual reproduction. Some reproduce almost exclusively by
asexual means. However, some degree of sexual reproduction is desirable because it helps
to generate genetic diversity in the species.
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Update: June 2012