Question Video: Recalling a Feature of Asexual Reproduction Biology

What is a distinguishing feature of asexual reproduction?

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Video Transcript

What is a distinguishing feature of asexual reproduction? (A) More than one individual is necessary. (B) There is variation in the next generation. (C) New offspring can be produced rapidly. (D) A wide range of alleles increases the chance of resistance to disease. Or (E) it requires a lot of time and energy.

Reproduction is the process by which an organism or organisms can produce offspring. There are two main types of reproduction: sexual reproduction and asexual reproduction. This question is asking us about a distinguishing feature of asexual reproduction. So let’s explore this process in some more detail.

Asexual reproduction involves only a single parent, such as a single-celled bacterium. Using this information, we can already eliminate answer choice (A).

This form of reproduction always results in the formation of offspring that are genetically identical to the parent. This can be seen as a major drawback of asexual reproduction, as the offspring produced will effectively be clones of the one parent that produced them and therefore have a low genetic variation. This means that they will not be particularly resilient to changes in their environment, as the offspring have no variety in alleles that might provide them with some resistance.

Using this information, we can eliminate answer choices (B) and (D), as there will likely be no variation in the offspring produced by asexual reproduction and so no range of alleles to provide resilience to environmental changes like the introduction of new diseases.

A major benefit of asexual reproduction, on the other hand, is that it is usually a rapid process. For example, some bacteria are able to reproduce asexually in just 20 minutes. The speed of asexual reproduction is increased further, as it only involves one parent. And so not much energy is expended in finding a mate. Using this information, we can eliminate answer choice (E), as we know that asexual reproduction does not usually require a lot of time or energy.

This means that we have found the correct answer to this question. The answer choice that describes a distinguishing feature of asexual reproduction is (C): new offspring can be produced rapidly.

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