Q:

How do plants reproduce asexually?

A:

There are many ways in which plants reproduce asexually, including vegetative reproduction, fragmentation and spore formation. These methods are seen in rooting, cuttings, grafting, layering, apomictic seeds, bulbs, spores, corms and runners. However, not all plant species can reproduce asexually, and even then conditions must be favorable.

One way plants reproduce asexually is through vegetative reproduction, most notably through runners, tubers and bulbs. A popular example of this method is strawberries. Runners come from the mother plant, which create plantlets resulting in genetically identical offspring, or clones. According to the BBC, asexual reproduction using tubers occurs because the plant creates food storage underground, like potatoes, that develop later into plants of their own. Asexual reproduction in flowers, such as tulips, occurs through the formation of bulbs that grow in the ground.

Another way plants reproduce asexually is through fragmentation, which occurs with cuttings, rooting and grafting. This method requires a cutting of the parent plant, usually a branch. That branch is then planted. Eventually roots grow and it becomes a new plant. Gardeners often use this method.

Spore formation occurs when plants form spores, or one-celled reproductive units that grow into multicellular plants. This most often occurs in algae and fungi.


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