Fragmentation & Regeneration Reproduction in Plants & Animals

Fragmentation & Regeneration Reproduction in Plants & Animals
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  • 0:00 Reproduction
  • 0:54 Fragmentation
  • 1:48 Regeneration
  • 2:36 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sarah Friedl

Sarah has two Master's, one in Zoology and one in GIS, a Bachelor's in Biology, and has taught college level Physical Science and Biology.

All plants and animals reproduce in different ways. In this lesson, we discuss a type of reproduction called fragmentation and the process of regeneration that occurs with it.

Reproduction

Plants and animals come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. They're found all over the world in varying environments. They eat different things, and grow in different ways. Some are stationary, some crawl along at a snail's pace, and some fly through the sky at incredible speeds.

But, what they all have in common is a need to pass on their genetic material to the next generation. They do this through either sexual or asexual reproduction. Sexual reproduction involves fertilization, like with humans. Asexual reproduction is reproduction without sex. You may have also heard of this referred to as cloning, because the offspring is an exact copy of the parent that created it.

Are you surprised to learn that there are multiple methods of asexual reproduction? In this lesson, we're going to cover a specific one called fragmentation.

Fragmentation

In reproduction, fragmentation is just what it sounds like: a fragment of a plant or animal that breaks off of an individual. What's amazing is that not only does this fragment carry an exact copy of the parent's genetic material, but with some plants and animals, it will grow into a completely new individual!

We can find lots of examples of this in nature. Fungi such as yeasts and mushrooms reproduce through fragmentation. Plants such as ferns also reproduce this way, as do many algae. And, if you wanted to grow a new potato, you could plant parts of the tuber and you'd have yourself a potato clone!

Animals that reproduce through fragmentation are also common. Sea stars are probably the most famous example. An entirely new individual can grow from a broken-off sea star arm. Annelid worms (think earthworms) can also create a new individual from fragmentation, as can corals in the sea.

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