Asexual reproduction  is a type of reproduction by which offspring arise from a single organism, and inherit the genes of that parent only; it does not involve the fusion of gametesand almost never changes the number of chromosomes. Asexual reproduction is the primary form of reproduction for single-celled organisms such as archaea and bacteria. Many plants and fungi sometimes reproduce asexually.
While all prokaryotes reproduce without the formation and fusion of gametes, mechanisms for lateral gene transfer such as conjugationtransformation and transduction can be likened to sexual reproduction in the sense of genetic recombination in meiosis.
It is not entirely understood why the ability to reproduce sexually is so common among them. Current hypotheses  suggest that asexual reproduction may have short term benefits when rapid population growth is important or in stable environments, while sexual reproduction offers a net advantage by allowing more rapid generation of genetic diversity, allowing to changing environments.
Developmental constraints  may underlie why few animals have relinquished sexual reproduction completely in their life-cycles.
Another constraint on switching from sexual to asexual reproduction Related to asexual reproduction definition be the concomitant loss of meiosis and the protective recombinational repair of DNA damage afforded as one function of meiosis.
An important form of fission is binary fission, where the parent organism is replaced by two daughter organisms, because it literally divides in two. Only prokaryotes the archaea and the bacteria reproduce asexually through binary fission. Eukaryotes such as protists and unicellular fungi may reproduce in a functionally similar manner by mitosis ; most of these are also capable of sexual reproduction.
Multiple fission at the cellular level occurs in many protistse. The nucleus of the parent cell divides several times by mitosisproducing several nuclei.
The cytoplasm then separates, creating multiple daughter cells. In apicomplexansmultiple fission, or schizogony appears either as merogonysporogony or gametogony. Merogony results in merozoiteswhich are Related to asexual reproduction definition daughter cells, that originate within the same cell membrane,   sporogony results in sporozoitesand gametogony results in micro gametes. Some cells split via budding for example baker's yeastresulting in a "mother" and "daughter" cell.
The offspring organism is smaller than the parent. Budding is also known on a multicellular level; an animal example is the hydrawhich reproduces by budding. The buds grow into fully matured individuals which eventually break away from the parent organism.
Internal budding is a process of asexual reproduction, favoured by parasites such as Toxoplasma gondii. It involves an unusual process in which two endodyogeny or more endopolygeny daughter cells are produced inside a mother cell, which is then consumed by the offspring prior to their separation. Also, budding external or internal is present in some worm like Taenia or Echinococci ; these worm produce cyst and then produce invaginated or evaginated protoscolex with budding.
Vegetative propagation is a type of asexual reproduction found in plants where new individuals are formed without the Related to asexual reproduction definition of seeds or spores by meiosis or syngamy.
Other plants reproduce by forming bulbs or tubers for example tulip bulbs and dahlia tubers. Some plants produce adventitious shoots and may form a clonal colonywhere all the individuals are clones, and the clones may cover a large area.
Many multicellular organisms form spores during their biological life cycle in a process called sporogenesis. Exceptions are animals and some protists, who undergo meiosis immediately followed by fertilization.
Plants and many algae on the other hand undergo sporic meiosis where meiosis leads to the formation of haploid spores rather than gametes. These spores grow into multicellular individuals called gametophytes in the case of plants without a fertilization event.
These haploid individuals give rise to gametes through mitosis. Meiosis and gamete formation therefore occur in generations or "phases" of the life cycle, referred to as alternation of generations. Since sexual reproduction is often more narrowly defined as the fusion of gametes fertilizationspore formation in plant sporophytes and algae might be considered a form of asexual reproduction agamogenesis despite being the result of meiosis and undergoing a reduction in ploidy.
However, both events spore formation and fertilization are necessary to complete sexual reproduction in the plant life cycle. Fungi and some algae can also utilize true asexual spore formation, which involves mitosis giving rise to reproductive cells called mitospores that develop into a new organism after dispersal.
This method of reproduction is found for example in conidial fungi and the red algae Polysiphoniaand involves sporogenesis without meiosis.
Thus the chromosome number of the spore cell is the same as that of the parent producing the spores. However, mitotic sporogenesis is an exception and most spores, such as those of plants, most Basidiomycotaand many algae, are produced by meiosis.
Fragmentation is a form of asexual reproduction where a new organism grows from a fragment of the parent. Each fragment develops into a mature, fully grown individual. Fragmentation is seen in many organisms.
Animals that reproduce asexually include planariansmany Related to asexual reproduction definition worms including polychaetes  and some oligochaetes turbellarians and sea stars.
Many fungi and plants reproduce asexually. Some plants have specialized structures for reproduction via fragmentation, such as gemma in liverworts.
Most lichenswhich are a symbiotic union of a fungus and photosynthetic algae or bacteria, reproduce through fragmentation to ensure that new individuals contain both symbiont. These fragments can take the form of sorediadust-like particles consisting of fungal hyphen wrapped around photobiont cells.
Clonal Fragmentation in multicellular or colonial organisms is a form of asexual reproduction or cloning where an organism is split into fragments. Each of these fragments develop into mature, fully grown individuals that are clones of the original organism. In echinodermsthis method of reproduction is usually known as fissiparity.
Agamogenesis is any form of reproduction that does not involve a male gamete. Examples are parthenogenesis and apomixis. Parthenogenesis is a form of agamogenesis in which an unfertilized egg develops into a new individual.
Parthenogenesis occurs naturally in many plants, invertebrates e.
In plants, apomixis may or may not involve parthenogenesis. Apomixis in plants is the formation of a new sporophyte without fertilization.