Biology - Reproduction (AQA)
Cuttings are a very cheap and easy way to produce plants that are genetically identical to the parent plant.

Biology - Reproduction (AQA)

In GCSE Science students will look at genetic variation and its control. This is the second of four quizzes on that topic and it looks in particular at sexual and asexual reproduction.

Reproduction can be either asexual or sexual. Plants can reproduce asexually, as can simple single celled organisms like bacteria and protozoa. Most animals and plants reproduce sexually which creates variation in populations. This variation can lead to natural selection and therefore evolution of a species.

Asexual reproduction in single celled organisms takes the form of budding or binary fission. In plants, it can be carried out artificially by taking cuttings or tissue culture and happens naturally by runners and rhizomes. Asexual reproduction gives rise to offspring that are genetically identical to each other and the parent.

Sexual reproduction requires that two sex cells merge to form a new cell. The technical name for any sex cell is 'gamete' and the new cell they form is called a zygote. These are useful words to remember as they appear often in questions about sexual reproduction. An animal zygote is implanted in the lining of the uterus where it develops to become a new individual. Fertilisation can be carried out artificially in a process called in vitro fertilisation.

In animals, the male gamete is sperm and the female gamete is the egg. When the sperm penetrates the egg, the egg is said to have been fertilised. The gametes of plants are the pollen and the ovule. A fertilised ovule becomes a seed.

Tissue culture requires only very small parts of a plant but is more expensive than taking cuttings. Why?
It can only be carried out in a professional laboratory
It requires a lot of specialist equipment
It takes a long time to produce only very small numbers of new plants
It needs sterile agar jelly with plant hormones and lots of nutrients
Cuttings are a very cheap and easy way to produce plants that are genetically identical to the parent plant. The downside is that not all cuttings are successful
The genetic information passed from parent to offspring is contained in what?
In genes that are found in the cytoplasm of a cell
In genes carried by chromosomes in the nucleus
In chromosomes carried on the genes of the gametes
In the female gamete only
From your studies of genetics, you should know that chromosomes are made up from genes and that chromosomes are found in the nucleus of cells. If the third option sounded tempting as the right answer, read it carefully - are chromosomes carried on genes or vice versa?
Which of the following is not an example of asexual reproduction?
Taking cuttings
Pollination involves gametes and fertilisation and can produce new varieties of plants. Asexual reproduction produces clones - genetically identical to each other and the parent plant
Which one of the following statements about plant reproduction is false?
A zygote is formed during the process of fertilisation
All plants reproduce by either sexual or asexual reproduction
Reproduction in a plant results in the formation of a new plant
In sexual reproduction, the offspring of a plant is identical to one of the parents only
This question actually tests your knowledge of sexual reproduction in general. You are expected to know that sexual reproduction involves genes from both parents. It is the same for both plants and animals
Which of the following options best describes sexual reproduction?
The joining of male and female gametes
The separation of male and female gametes
The formation of male and female gametes
Nothing to do with male and female gametes
When the two gametes, the egg and sperm or pollen and ovule, have fused (joined) we say that the egg or ovule has been fertilised
In human reproduction, which hormone prepares and maintains the uterus lining to receive the zygote?
Oestrogen stops the production of the hormone FSH and promotes the production of luteinising hormone which stimulates the release of a mature egg from the ovary. Testosterone is an important male hormone. FSH causes an egg to mature in the ovaries
What do we call the cell formed when fertilisation has occurred?
Double gamete
Epithelial cell
An animal zygote grows in the uterus to become a new individual. A plant zygote develops to become a seed
How does sexual reproduction lead to evolution?
It was discovered by Darwin
It mixes the genes from the two parents
It creates a completely new set of genes
The genes change during fertilisation
Every fertilisation results in the creation of a unique set of genes within the new individual which will be similar, but never identical, to the parents. Natural selection will mean that the most successful genetic combinations will survive and reproduce, passing on the useful characteristics
What do we call the process in which a zygote is created artificially by scientists or doctors?
In tubus fertilisation
In vivo fertilisation
In vitro fertilisation
In vitro mating
IVF is used in human fertility treatments and to create animal clones. The zygote must be implanted into a uterus of the host animal
Variation between individuals in an animal population is genetic but may also be caused by what?
The conditions in which they live
How much they get to eat when they are growing
All of the above
These are examples of environmental variation and will not be passed on to later generations
You can find more about this topic by visiting BBC Bitesize - Inheritance, variation and evolution

Author:  Kev Woodward

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