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Sexual Reproduction

Sexual reproduction is the process responsible for the creation of a zygote. A zygote is a diploid cell (2n) which is created by the fusion of two haploid germ cells (n), the female and male gametes.

The zygote is representative of an organism's earliest stage of development. Once fertilization takes place between the female ovum and the male sperm cell, a single diploid cell is formed. The DNA of both parents contributes to this diploid cell. The specifics of reproduction in different eukaryotic organisms vary and in plants reproduction is often asexual. Asexual reproduction produces identical copies of the parents except when mutations take place.

In eukaryotes, there are two main processes in sexual reproduction. First there is meiosis and then fertilization. During fertilization the two gametes are fused together, which regenerates the number of chromosomes of the newly formed cell back to normal (46 chromosomes), since during meiosis the number of chromosomes is halved.

Sexual reproduction allows for the development of complex organisms and typically the new zygote will possess traits and adopt survival strategies which are suitable for the environment. Through sexual reproduction mutations can be passed on and through genetic recombination certain mutations and traits can also be eliminated. New allelic combinations get generated through genetic recombination. One evolutionary advantage of sex is thought to be related to the increased genetic variation which is produced through sexual reproduction. This increases the fitness of offspring.

Sexual reproduction is a critical process in eukaryotic organisms. There is a eukaryotic common ancestor which all eukaryotes are derived from. It is an important process for passing on genes through generations and it is a mechanism tightly linked to natural selection.

Sexual Reproduction - Life Cycles

Please explain the importance of sexual reproduction, not only in terms of continuation of the species, but in evolutionary terms as well. Please compare the different types of life cycles exemplified by Chlamydomonas, corn (maize), and humans. Be sure to indicate which stage(s) is (are) dominant in each life cycle. As you c

Reproductive organs, hormones, and hCG

(1) Male and female embryos exhibit few anatomical differences until after the second month of development. Several common sex hormones continue to function into adulthood, including FSH and LH. Describe where these hormones come from and what their role is in adult males and females, with reference to the reproductive structure