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Reproduction by fission

Topic: Growth And Physiology Of Prokaryotic Cells

Prokaryotes reproduce asexually by binary fission.

Reproduction in prokaryotes is asexual and takes place by binary fission. The DNA of a prokaryote exists as a single, circular chromosome. Prokaryotes do not undergo mitosis; rather the chromosome is replicated, and the two resulting copies separate from one another, due to the growth of the cell. The prokaryote, now enlarged, is pinched inward at its equator and the two resulting cells, which are clones, separate. Binary fission has no genetic recombination or genetic diversity.

MCAT Reproduction by fission

Practice Questions

Khan Academy

MCAT Official Prep (AAMC)

Biology Question Pack, Vol. 1 Passage 4 Question 24

Key Points

• Binary fission is a type of reproduction in which the chromosome is replicated. The resultant prokaryote is an exact copy of the parental prokaryote with no opportunity for genetic diversity.

Key Terms

binary fission: the process whereby a cell divides asexually to produce two daughter cells

prokaryotes: an organism whose cell (or cells) are characterized by the absence of a nucleus or any other membrane-bound organelles

asexual: is a type of reproduction where offspring arise by cellular division and inherit the genes of that parent cell

chromosome: a threadlike structure of nucleic acids and protein found in the nucleus carrying genes.

genetic recombination is the exchange of genetic material which leads to the production of offspring with combinations of traits that differ from those found in either parent

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