Asexual vs. Sexual Reproduction Our Objective Compare and contrast the processes of asexual and sexual reproduction, including the type and number of cells involved (one body cell in asexual, two sex cells in sexual), and the number of gene sets (body cell has 2 sets, sex cells have 1 set each) passed from parent(s) to offspring. (3.3.A.a) Let's talk a moment about ASEXUAL reproduction. Remember how many parents are involved? That's right........just ONE This type of reproduction is great if all you want are clones because asexual reproduction does not provide any variety in the offspring............... Every offspring has the same characteristics as the parent. Of course, humans can't asexually reproduce, as you learned last time, but you get the idea... Now, when it comes to sexual reproduction every offspring is unique. It happens that way because in sexual reproduction you get part of mom's characteristics and part of dad's characteristics. Dad's part comes from the sperm cell Mom's part comes from the egg cell The Sperm Cell Each sperm cell develops in the testes and has three parts: a head, middle piece, and tail. An acrosome at the head tip produces enzymes that help penetrate the female egg. During fertilization, genetic material in the nucleus join with genetic material in the egg. The middle piece (body) contains mitochondria, structures that provide energy for the sperm. The mitochondria are tightly spiraled around the top of the tail. The tail moves the sperm toward the egg. An average amount of sperm has 300 to 500 million sperm. The Egg Cell Developing Egg Cell in the ovary (takes about 2 weeks) Mature Egg Cell Nucleus with genetic material How long does it keep going??? The ovary continues to produce eggs until the woman reaches age 51 (on average). Some women may produce their last egg at a much earlier age but the average is age 51. This time of a woman's life is called menopause. Men can continue to produce sperm cells all their life. Fertilization Once the sperm gets inside the egg the genetic material from each combine to create a unique offspring. (Look at the kids and look at mom and dad) Once the first sperm cell penetrates the egg a chemical reaction occurs that prevents any more sperm from entering the egg. Sexual or Asexual?