Meiosis is a special kind of cell division that occurs in germ cells.
Through meioses, a germ cell divides to produce four gametes, cells used in sexual reproduction. Each gamete contains half the genetic material needed to form an individual. Meiosis involves DNA exchange through recombination which results in the new cells being genetically different from each other. In sexual reproduction, two gametes from different individuals form a cell called a zygote which develops into a new individual.
Asexual reproduction results in offspring that are genetically identical to the parent. This is achieved by mitosis. If humans reproduced asexually, you would have only one parent and you would be an exact genetic copy of them, like identical twins. Examples of asexual reproduction include budding in jellyfish and taking a cutting from one plant to create new plant.
Article first published March 18, 2011.
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