Asexual Reproduction (OCR Gateway GCSE Biology: Combined Science)

Revision Note

Test Yourself





Asexual Reproduction

  • Asexual reproduction does not involve sex cells or fertilisation
  • Only one parent is required so there is no fusion of gametes and no mixing of genetic information
  • As a result, the offspring are genetically identical to the parent and to each other (clones)
  • Asexual reproduction is defined as a process resulting in genetically identical offspring from one parent
  • Bacteria and many plants reproduce via asexual reproduction
  • Only mitosis is involved in asexual reproduction

Advantages and disadvantages of asexual reproduction

Advantages & Disadvantages of Asexual Reproduction Table

Advantages & Disadvantages of Asexual Reproduction table

Some examples of asexual reproduction

  • Bacteria produce exact genetic copies of themselves in a type of asexual reproduction called binary fission:

Binary fission

Asexual reproduction in bacteria: binary Fission

  •  Plants can reproduce asexually using bulbs and tubers; these are food storage organs from which budding can occur, producing new plants which are genetically identical to the parent plant:

Bulbs and tubers

Asexual reproduction in plants: Bulbs and tubers

  • Some plants grow side shoots called runners that contain tiny plantlets on them (a good example of this are strawberry plants. These will grow roots and develop into separate plants, again being genetically identical to the parent plant:


Asexual reproduction in plants: Runners

Comparing Asexual & Sexual Reproduction

  • The key differences between sexual and asexual reproduction include:
    • The number of parent organisms
    • How offspring are produced (the type of cell division required)
    • The level of genetic similarity between offspring
    • The possible sources of genetic variation in offspring
    • The number of offspring produced
    • The time taken to produce offspring

Table to compare asexual and sexual reproduction

Sexual and asexual reproduction comparison_1

You've read 0 of your 0 free revision notes

Get unlimited access

to absolutely everything:

  • Downloadable PDFs
  • Unlimited Revision Notes
  • Topic Questions
  • Past Papers
  • Model Answers
  • Videos (Maths and Science)

Join the 100,000+ Students that ❤️ Save My Exams

the (exam) results speak for themselves:

Did this page help you?


Author: Ruth

Ruth graduated from Sheffield University with a degree in Biology and went on to teach Science in London whilst also completing an MA in innovation in Education. With 10 years of teaching experience across the 3 key science disciplines, Ruth decided to set up a tutoring business to support students in her local area. Ruth has worked with several exam boards and loves to use her experience to produce educational materials which make the mark schemes accessible to all students.