Reproduction is a process by which living organisms produce new individuals of their own kind and maintain their existence generation after generation.     
    Reproduction is not essential to maintain the life of an organism but it is essential to maintain life on earth and perpetuation of species from one generation to another. 
    Reproduction at its basic level (cellular reproduction) is involved in making similar or dissimilar body designs through the genetic material (DNA) present in the chromosomes of its nucleus. 
    DNA is the source of information for making proteins. Any change in the information leads to production of different proteins, which ultimately lead to altered body designs. 
    Basic event in reproduction is production of DNA copies in a reproducing cell. The process is called DNA replication. When the cell divides into two, each new cell gets a copy of each DNA or chromosome along with the whole cellular apparatus. 

    Complete accuracy in DNA copying leads to two exactly identical cells but any error in duplication can lead to dissimilar cells or variations. 
    The inbuilt tendency for variations during reproduction forms the basis for evolution. 
    Variations during reproduction enable the population of a species to get adapted easily to a particular inhabiting place/niche. Hence, reproduction is linked to the stability of populations of species. 
    Stronger variations are useful for the survival of species over time and enable the organisms to tide over any drastic alterations in their habitats. 

Importance of Reproduction 

    (i) Maintenance of the existence :- Organisms are maintaining the existence on the earth since their origin, million years ago only because of reproduction.
    (ii) Preservation of species :- Species are preserved because of reproduction. It is possible because reproducing organisms produce new individuals which are very similar to themselves.
    (iii) Role in evolution :- Some variations are produced in the new organisms during reproduction which play an important role in evolution.
    Type of Reproduction 

    There are two  main methods of reproduction in living organisms.
    (1)    Asexual reproduction.
    (2)    Sexual reproduction.

    (1) Asexual Reproduction :

    Production of offsprings by a single parent without the formation and fusion of gametes is called asexual reproduction.
    It is a primitive type of reproduction in which offspring is produced by a cell or any vegetative organ of an organism .
    In this type of reproduction offsprings are genetically identical to their parents.
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