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Name: Mary E.
Status: educator
Age: 40s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999-2001 


Question:
My fourth grade class is studying plant reproduction and have stumped me with a question. I hope you can help. Why do plants that reproduce through division of bulbs or corms also have complete flowers? Is fertilization necessary for the bulb to divide? Thanks!


Replies:
Two methods of reproduction can be advantageous to plant survival. Fertilization is not necessary for the bulb to divide.

http://www.alienexplorer.com/ecology/p28.html

http://www.sac.ecape.school.za/greenhouse/ contribute/asex_sex.htm

Anthony R. Brach, Ph.D.


Vegetative reproduction like division, usually is a supplement to seed reproduction, not a replacement for it - evolution has produced another way for the plant to be successful in its environment. Fertilization is not necessary for the bulb to divide, and the new plant is a clone of the old one. Sexual reproduction by way of flowers creates a new genetic mix, and thus a whole "new" plant.

J. Elliott


It is possible for some organisms to reproduce without others of their species nearby. Asexual reproduction creates genetically identical offspring however. This is ok for the mostpart, but it is very important to maintain a level of genetic diversity in any population so that in the event of environmental change, there are members that can survive. Seed production is a means of creating genetically different offspring and keeping diversity high. So in some plants, there are two ways to reproduce.

van hoeck



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