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ETD 54 A. What are the Pros + Cons of Asexual Reprodution(Give Specific Examples of Asexual Oragnisms)? B. What is the difference between a mono-. para-, and poly- phyletic group?
February 26, 2014 at 11:39am


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Sophie Wulfing
March 16, 2014 at 10:50pm

Pros:  No mate required - saves energy.  When in isolation, allows you to maintain a small population.  Because it makes an exact copy of the genes, it works in a stable environment.  Also don't need another species (eg. a pollinator).  Cons:  Where environments change there's low variability in the population, thus vulnerable to disease and other factors.

Poly-phylectic; the group has one distant ancestor (many children)

Para-phylectic; implies a common ancestor within some of the species (like Neanderthals?)

Mono-phylectic group: one common ancestor distant ancestor


I had to reexplain the monophyletic group and the polyphylectic group and their differences, and I had to explain using a picture. I also used the pronoun meanings with poly, para, and mono to help.

Madison Boggan
March 01, 2015 at 12:10pm

Parent: I learned that there are good and bad things that go along with asexual reproduction. Good things: whole genome is preserved, you don't need a mate, takes less energy, fast and efficient. Bad things: decrease in genetic diversity and these organisms can't handle change as well. Bacteria, yeast and dandelions are all examples of organisms that do this.     Madison also taught me that a polyphyletic group comes from many common ancestors, a paraphyletic group is missing some descendants from a common ancestor and a monophyletic group has a common ancestor and all descendants. 

Student: I explained to my mom that the phyletic groups can be thought of like legos. A common ancestor is the box that the legos come in and the legos are the descendants. A mono group is one complete box of legos. A para group is a lego box that has lost some of the pieces (descendants). A poly group is when there are legos from many different boxes. 

Madison Neyers
April 12, 2015 at 7:35pm

Parent: I learned quite a lot of pros to asexual reproduction that I did not think of. It makes sense that it is still common becuase of the pros of preserving genes, saving energy wasted on courtship, as well as being fast and efficient. 

Student: This seemed easy for me to explain because we have gone over this topic a lot in class. I relearned that it is best to have asexual repoduction in small populations and this makes sense because there would be less mates. I made little ways to memorize the phyletic groups. Monophyletic includes each branch point from each ancestor. Polyphyletic has some descendants from other ancestors because there are multiple. Paraphyletic is missing one of the descendents like a parapolegic. 

Amber Neathery
February 28, 2016 at 2:21pm

Student: I explained that benefits to undergoing asexual reproduction include efficiency and the lack of need for a mate, while the drawbacks consist of decreased genetic variation, which leads to vulnerability to disease and environmental change. Overall, being able to undergo both sexual and asexual reproduction, as the planaria can, is the most beneficial for a population. Moving on the phylogenetic trees, I explained that a monophyletic group consists of a common ancestor and all of its descendants, a paraphyletic group contains a common ancestor and some descendants, and a polyphyletic group contains organisms with different ancestors. Teaching this to my dad helped me remind  myself of the differences between the groups.

Parent: asexual reproduction is fast but it is better to do both for genetic variation. phylogenetic trees were interesting to track ancestors. must be hard to remember the different groups.

Lauren Masters
April 30, 2016 at 2:18pm

Student: I taught my mom about asexual reproduction. She already knew what that was. She knew the example of planarians reproducing by regeneration because she had one as a pet. I taught her that asexual reproduction decreases energy because species do not spend time searching for a mate. This led me to teach her what sexual selection is and that it is not needed for this. I also taught her that when species genes are preserved by asexual reproduction, genetic diversity is decreased and species can go extinct if the environment changes.

Parent: I already had some knowledge of asexual reproduction. I gave Lauren several examples, planarian, plants (hens and chicks, potatoes). I knew some of the pros: don't rely on anything else to reproduce, preserves the  species. I also knew some of the cons: doesn't weed out mutations, doesn't adapt to environment. Lauren talked about sexual selection. I did know what this was but not that that was what it was called.

Zach Holtz
February 12, 2020 at 8:29pm

Student:   It was nice to go over asexual reproduction with my mom.  I talked about how bacteria, protists, Day geckos, Jades and bananas, potatoes, strawberries, dandelions, and blackberries all reproduce asexually in different ways.  Some of these ways are binary fission, parthenogenesis non-fertilization, tubers, runners, and apomixis.  All these have pros and cons.  Some pros are there is no need for mates and if it is a plant there is no need for a pollinator.  Some cons, however, there is low genetic diversity since they are exact clones which can lead to death if a Natural Selection disease comes in.  Monophyletic means ancestor and all descendants, para- means ancestor and some descendants, and poly- means many ancestral groups.

Parent:   It was interesting to learn about all the different ways that organisms asexually reproduce along with the pros/cons.  It was also nice to learn about Phylogenetic trees (the organisms evolutionary history)

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