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Sexual reproduction is the merger of two specialized cells known as gametes, one from the male source and one from the female source. This form of reproduction produces genetic variation when a mixture of genes from parent species occurs during fertilization, a mechanism known as meiosis. Asexual reproduction, on the other hand, does not require the involvement of two cells; instead, a single organism splits into two, producing an identical clone of itself by a mechanism known as mitosis (Morris, 2008). The children have the same genes as the parent in this form of reproduction; as a result, there is little genetic variation, except for unusual mutations. According to Mendel's Law of Segregation, even though a parent may have two alleles for an individual gene, these alleles are separated from each other during meiosis. As such, as chromosomes segregate during this process, each gamete acquires one of the two alleles. This is what happens in sexual reproduction where two cells, one from the male and one from the female organisms fuse to form a zygote (Rosenberg, 2008). Meiosis increases genetic variation by reducing the number of chromosomes by half, thereby leading to a significant number of different combinations of genes. Moreover, the fact that genetic materials come from two different organisms ensures that the offspring is a mixture of genes hence promotes genetic diversity.
In my opinion, sexual reproduction is the best option for female copperhead snakes due to several reasons. First, through this form of reproduction, new gene combinations will be introduced into the population. Genetic variation is thereby promoted as the community becomes diversified. Genetic variation is similarly important for the breeding of healthy offspring which can survive harsh conditions. Second, the offspring from sexual reproduction bears traits from each parent, an aspect that may help regarding evolutionary changes. Species that reproduce asexually cannot adapt and evolve to their environment since they lack the ability (Morris, 2008). Thus, the asexually producing species cannot survive in any habitat that does not conform to their characteristics. Thirdly, it helps natural selection where harmful mutations from the populations are removed. As a result, stronger and more resistant offspring is produced, which can better survive in a dynamic surrounding.
Morris, R. D. (December 01, 2008). The conservation of redundancy in genetic systems: effects
of sexual and asexual reproduction. Journal of Biosciences, 28, 6, 671-681.
Rosenberg, L. E. (October 01, 2008). The explanation of an apparent exception to Mendel's law
of segregation. Genetics: an International Journal of Genetics and Evolution, 22, 6, 103-
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