A type of reproduction, in which fertilization and other processes like ploidy reduction, meiosis, etc., doesn't take place can be termed as asexual reproduction. This form of reproduction doesn't require a partner; which means that only a single parent is involved in the process. A more technical definition of asexual reproduction would be the regeneration, which takes place as a result of fusion of gametes. The single-celled organisms, which reproduce asexually are protists, bacteria, and archaea.
The different modes, through which asexual reproduction takes place are binary fission, spore formation, vegetative reproduction, and budding. The budding process results into the formation of daughter cells from mother cells. This mode of reproduction is observed in unicellular as well as multicellular organisms. Binary fission is the simple process, in which a single cell divide into two, and the process continues.
Higher Number of Offspring
In asexual reproduction, a higher number of offspring are produced. The advantage of having offspring in greater number is that their survival rate increases greatly.
Production of spores is highly effective from the point of dissemination. The spores being lightweight are carried to long distances by the means of wind and water. Even animals carry out dispersal of spores that are attached to their bodies.
A Partner is Not Required
For asexual reproduction to take place, there is no need of a partner. It is a faster and easier form of reproduction. The energy spent by organisms in finding a partner during sexual reproduction is saved in this mode.
The individuals produced as a result of asexual reproduction have the same DNA. It means that the daughter cells produced as a result of asexual reproduction are clones. In commercial farming, priority is given to the production of a greater number of crops/plants in less amount of time. Cloning would thus prove to be beneficial in such cases.
One of the advantages of asexual reproduction is the production of breeding stock. The breeding stock obtained from asexual reproduction is used for the propagation of species in the future. The process is more or less like cloning.
The asexual form of reproduction leads to prolific multiplication of organisms. However, the vigor or genetic diversity required for a species to survive in the long term is found lacking in such organisms.