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Asexual Reproduction in Plants

Plant Reproduction Worksheet from MatchCard Science


Compare the differences between sexual and asexual reproduction in plants, and describes five different types of asexual reproduction.

Plant Reproduction Worksheet


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MatchCard Science Plant Reproduction Worksheet

Objectives:
  1. Compare features of plants that reproduce asexually and those that reproduce sexually.
  2. List five different types of asexual reproduction.
MatchCard: Download below.

With the MatchCard Information Pieces students will differentiate characteristics of asexual and sexual reproduction and place them in the correct box. They will define and give common examples of the five types of asexual reproduction.

Botany Science Projects: Take the cutting of a strawberry vine or other vine. Put bread out to mold. Watch eyes grow on a potato. Make a poster of spore formation.

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This is MatchCard #9 of the Botany Unit Study. Find more information on MatchCard Science below.

Differences between Sexual and Asexual Reproduction

The first objective is more elementary and compares the major features of asexual and sexual reproduction in plants. It includes the fact that asexual reproduction has only one parent. Mitosis and Meiosis are contrasted.

Meiosis and Mitosis


Sexual Reproduction

Flowering plant

Sexual reproduction is the most common form of reproduction in plants or animals. It has the following characteristics.
  • Requires two parents
  • Male gamete unites with female gamete
  • The division of cells is by meiosis. The cell of each parent provides half of the chromosomes needed by the new plant.



Asexual Reproduction

Budding Potato

Asexual reproduction is far less common and occurs primarily in plants and uni-cellular animals. The characteristics of asexual reproduction are:
  • Only one parent is involved
  • No fertilization takes place
  • Occurs with some single-celled animals and some plants
  • Cellular division is by mitosis which produces a complete set of chromosomes
  • Often used commercially to produce plants

5 Types of Asexual Reproduction

This content is more detailed for those students who have already learned the differences between sexual and asexual reproduction.

Budding

Budding occurs as new plant grows off the parent plant as a bud.

Common Examples: Eyes of potatoes, Yeast buds

We've all seen those unwanted eyes that grow when a potato has stayed in the cool cabinets too long. Actually, those eyes are buds that can produce a new potato plant.

Science Project with Budding: Grow the buds of the potatoes and watch the plant sprout. If you are a gardener, you can experiment to see if the size of buds effect the success of the new plant.

Yeast is also reproduced by budding. You can add warm water to a package of bakers yeast and watch the changes. This is more effective if you have access to a microscope to watch the process of budding over several hours.

Vegetative Propagation

Plantlets form on the leaves, roots, or stems of the parent plant to form a new plant through vegetative propagation.

You have seen this process when someone takes a cutting of a plant and keeps it moist to allow cellular division at the end. Vines are particularly useful for vegetative propagation, though leafy many plants will successfully reproduce this way if treated correctly.

Botany Projects: Try growing a strawberry plant from the cuttings of a strawberry vine. Sugarcane stems can also be cut for vegetative propagation.

Apomixis

A new plant grows from an unfertilized seed.

This only occurs with specific species of plants and in particular conditions.

Ferns are an example of plants that reproduce with apomixis.

Fragmentation

Fragmentation is a less common form of asexual reproduction. It occurs when a new organism forms from a fragment of the parent plant.

Lichens are a plant form that reproduce through fragmentation. Another example is starfish. While starfish are not a plant, their capacity to produce a new organism from a fragment of the parent is fairly well known.

Spores

Spores are extremely interesting reproductive organisms, similiar to seeds except they develop asexually with only one parent. They allow a plant to reproduce in less than ideal conditions.

Spores are developed through several steps of cell division including meiosis (creates new cells with half the number of chromosomes) and mitosis (new cells with the complete number of chromosomes).

Mold and algae provide good examples of spore formation.

Botany Projects:
  • Make a poster of the life cycle of spores.
  • Watch bread mold. Keep a photo record of the changes over time.
  • Do a botany science experiment with bread mold.(See below for ideas.)

Science Experiment with Bread Mold

What conditions cause bread to mold faster or slower? We can conduct a science experiement to find out.

Hypothesis: Environmental conditions can increase or decrease the rate of growth of mold on bread. Actually, a better hypothesis would be to state a specific environmental condition. For instance, a moist environment increases the rate of growth of mold. Here's another hypothesis: Preservatives decrease the rate of growth of bread mold.

Here are some possibile variables you might want to experiment with:
  • Different types of bread
    • Whole wheat vs white bread
    • Bread with preservatives vs homemade bread without preservatives
    • Sweet breads with lots of sugar vs bread with minimal or no sugar
  • Humidity in the bag or container the bread is kept in
  • Temperature
  • Sunlight or place where no sun is present
  • Open exposure to room air or outside air.
As you design your experiment, you will want to have at least three specimen of bread for each variable you are testing. You will want to have a milimeter ruler to measure the amount of mold at specific intervals. Take pictures of your bread as part of your documentation and presentation.

From your experimental results can you make suggestions for how bread should be stored?

Meiosis and Mitosis

MatchCard Science

How To Use MatchCards

MatchCard Science Instructor's Guide

Easy to use and fun to teach with: MatchCards teach all the important science concepts and provide a continuous, game-like review.

Ideas for setting up your MatchCard Notebook can be found in the FREE MatchCard Science Instructor's Guide.

Watch their understanding of science expand with MatchCard reviews.

Botany Unit Study

Botany Unit Study Cover

Watch their green thumb sprout when kids use the MatchCard Science Botany Unit Study to learn about the plants all around us.

Print the botany unit study.

MatchCard Science Unit Studies

MatchCard Science Cover



The Botany Unit Study in one of the twelve unit studies available with MatchCard Science.

Comprehensive objectives, hands-on projects, suggested science fair experiments, and the fun game-like MatchCards keep them interested in learning science. See all twelve MatchCard Science Unit Studies.


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