AQA GCSE Biology

Revision Notes

6.1.1 Sexual & Asexual Reproduction

Mitosis & Meiosis

  • Mitosis is a type of nuclear division that gives rise to cells that are genetically identical
  • It is used for growth, repair of damaged tissues, replacement of cells and asexual reproduction
  • Meiosis is a type of nuclear division that gives rise to cells that are genetically different
  • It is used to produce gametes (sex cells)

Sexual Reproduction

  • Sexual reproduction is a process involving the fusion of the nuclei of two gametes (sex cells) to form a zygote (fertilised egg cell) and the production of offspring that are genetically different from each other
    • The gametes of animals are the sperm cells and egg cells
    • The gametes of flowering plants are the pollen cells and egg cells
  • Fertilisation is defined as the fusion of gamete nuclei, and as each gamete comes from a different parent, there is variation in the offspring
  • The formation of gametes involves meiosis

Asexual Reproduction

  • Asexual reproduction does not involve sex cells or fertilisation
  • Only one parent is required so there is no fusion of gametes and no mixing of genetic information
  • As a result, the offspring are genetically identical to the parent and to each other (clones)
  • Asexual reproduction is defined as a process resulting in genetically identical offspring from one parent
  • Only mitosis is involved in asexual reproduction

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Jenna studied at Cardiff University before training to become a science teacher at the University of Bath specialising in Biology (although she loves teaching all three sciences at GCSE level!). Teaching is her passion, and with 10 years experience teaching across a wide range of specifications – from GCSE and A Level Biology in the UK to IGCSE and IB Biology internationally – she knows what is required to pass those Biology exams.
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