Oregon State University

Sexual Reproduction

Plant Reproduction

 Genes can be passed from one plant to another via asexual reproduction, sexual reproduction, and apomixis


I. Asexual reproduction:

  1. The clone is immortal
  2. The world's heaviest living thing
  3. The garlic example
  • The world's heaviest living thing. L-2. Plant clones can be massive. The same genotype can cover large geographic areas. This has implications for long-term fitness.
  • The garlic example. L-2. If there is no sexual reproduction, the only source of genetic variation will be mutation.  Introduction of a sexual reproduction system into an asexually reproduction system opens new horizons for plant breeding. 

II. Sexual reproduction:

A. Advantages and disadvantages of sexual reproduction 

  1. Advantages : Environments are highly heterogeneous and unstable - sexual reproduction generates variability and variability is the basis for selection (natural and artificial).
  2. Disadvantages
    1. In a dioecious species, half the reproductive effort is wasted in producing males
    2. Meiosis will produce some "unfit" combinations of genes
    3. Cross-pollinated plants may be subject to environmental conditions unfavorable to pollination 
  • An in-depth look at the advantages of sexual reproduction. L-2. What is the Red Queen hypothesis? 

B. Alternation of generations: In plants there is an alternation of the gametophytic (n) and sporophytic (2n) generations. The sporophytic generation may be diploid (2n = 2x) or polyploid (2n = _x).



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