8 julio, 2024

15 asexual plants and their characteristics

What are asexual plants?

The asexual plants They are known under this name for their ability to reproduce without the intervention of gametes or sex cells of the plant. From mitotic cell development, a complete individual can be generated, identical to its parent.

This reproduction can be carried out through two methods: vegetative multiplication and through cell germs. The first consists of the cell fragmentation of individuals adapted to the environment whose conditions guarantee the development of the new ones. The stem cell of individuals divides, multiplying the species in the environment.

In the second method, the germs are produced internally by each individual and expelled by spores, which settle and guarantee the development of a new genetically identical individual. Asexual reproduction is summarized in the ability of the plant to generate its own offspring.

As genetic processes are involved that are repeated over and over again in new individuals, it has been considered that any condition that falls on an asexual plant will affect all those around it in the same way, since they have the same genetic writing and, therefore, therefore, the same strengths and weaknesses.

List of asexual plants

Green algae (Chlorophyta sensu lato)

They are a group that includes more than 10,000 species, with a unicellular or multicellular structure. They are related to terrestrial plants and have marine habitat status worldwide for only 10% of species.

Green algae reproduce asexually by forming and displacing spores, which will then generate new, identical individuals.

Some species have the ability to reproduce sexually or asexually (gametes or spores), depending on the division carried out by their mother cell.

Cactus (Cactea)

This variety of cactus belongs to the Cactaceae family, and is found mainly in American lands (United States and Mexico).

They can reproduce individually, or helping each other among several grouped individuals. They can have a varied size and produce flowers and juicy fruits.

Many genera and species originate from this variety and can vary in shape and size, but maintain similar internal reproductive processes.

Potato or potato (Solanum tuberosum)

This plant is known worldwide for its edible tuber, or potato. It belongs to the Solanaceae family.

Originally from America, this plant has seen its cultivation domesticated due to its popularity and the commercial and nutritional value of its tuber.

It is considered an asexual plant because part of the residual tuber can be used to generate new individuals. They also have the ability to reproduce from seeds that develop.

Sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum)

Belonging to the poaceae family, sugarcane is a plant of great popularity and commercial value due to the product that comes from it: sugar.

The cane allows the reproduction and development of similar individuals by planting pieces of a previous individual, and from this residue another individual grows again.

The ease of multiplication that cane provides allows this industry to be exploited in a massive way for the production of sugar, reaching up to two tons of sugar for every 20 tons of processed cane.

Aloe Vera (Aloe)

Member of the Xanthorrhoeaceae family, it brings together a handful of plants from hot and dry habitats, which are popular for their healing and consumption properties.

They are terrestrial and have a short stem and elongated leaves that store aloe. Some species can develop much taller and with a series of more visible fruits.

The aloe species, due to their popularity, are usually cultivated domestically or by hand. However, they have their own reproductive mechanisms that allow them to spread in their natural habitat.

geraniums

Of the more than 400 recognized species in the geranium genus, a large number share asexual reproduction behaviors and processes.

Due to the condition that geraniums have to hinder the development of other plant species in the same environment, they must guarantee their own rapid propagation.

The seeds of geraniums are grouped and dispersed by means of differentiated mechanisms between species, which allows them to cover considerable spaces on which to reproduce. Some species of geraniums are used domestically as sieves.

Willows (Salix)

They are another genus of various species of deciduous trees and shrubs, which have the ability to reproduce and propagate both asexually and through hybrid crosses.

Willow species that reproduce cross-breeding often generate hybrid individuals and not genetically identical, as occurs in other processes of asexual reproduction.

However, the individual cultivation of these species also allows them to generate new individuals with an identical genetic code. Several species in this genus have been popularized for aesthetic use in landscaping.

Onion (Allium cepa)

As one of the most popular food and commercial plants, the crop checked onion is the common denominator today in almost the entire world.

The onion presents the quality of generating new individuals from the remains of its root, which allows maximizing its domestic or artisanal cultivation.

The onion also has seeds that, planted fresh, can provide positive results at harvest time.

Bad mother (Chlorophytum comosum)

It is a houseplant native to South Africa. From its roots it generates new filaments and hermaphroditic ramifications that continue with the propagation of the individual.

It is considered an invasive and perennial species, so if it is cultivated in some space, it is recommended that it be of limited scope. It does not have a structured stem but rather long leaves.

gladioli (gladiolus)

A genus of unusual and diverse quality plants in its different species, which have developed new behaviors depending on the cultivation process to which they are subjected.

Gladioli are considered perennial plants with a high floral incidence. They are native to Europe, Asia and Africa.

Some species resort to propagation and budding processes, while others use pollination through external agents.

Pineapple (Ananas comosus)

It is a South American plant, family of the bromeliáceas. Its reproduction is carried out through the basal shoots, from which, once fruitful, they will give rise to a new stem.

Banana (paradise muse)

The plantain or banana, native to the tropical Indomalaya region, reproduces by vegetative propagation: its shoots or «children» function as seeds, from which new plants will emerge.

Strawberry (fragaria)

Strawberries are from the Rosaceae family. It reproduces by means of stolons, or lateral shoots, which grow along the stem.

bamboo (bambusodae)

It is a plant that is naturally present on all continents, except Europe and Antarctica. It is a woody shrub, highly flexible, which has many uses, from construction to medicine. It reproduces by cuttings, that is, by pieces of the stem.

Yucca (manihot esculenta)

Native to South America, cassava is an edible root. It also reproduces by cuttings, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes or yams.

References

A little bit of sex matters for genome evolution in asexual plants. Front Plant.
The evolution of asexual reproduction in plants. London: Chapman & Hall.
Working list of all plant species. Retrieved from theplantlist.org.

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