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18Reproduction

The earth is believed to house over ten million species of organisms that have survived/continued to live through generations by reproducing individuals of the same species. This production of progeny while replicating one’s own genomes is called reproduction, and represents one of the most distinct characteristics of living organisms. To reproduce, unicellular organisms essentially multiply through somatic cell division, which replicates the same cells as the parent cell. In the case of multicellular organisms, some animals multiply by budding, whereas some plants, such as potatoes, multiply through regeneration from vegetative organs. On the other hand, many organisms have two sexes that are used for reproduction (sexual reproduction). This chapter discusses the differences between asexual and sexual reproduction as well as studies on meiosis and fertilization, while addressing the significance of sexual reproduction.

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