Modes of Reproduction and Apomixis
Flowering plants follow either one of these three fundamentally different modes of reproduction: (a) through cross-pollinated seeds, (b) self-pollinated seeds and (c) asexual (vegetative) means. Mode of reproduction is a decisive factor in moulding population structure and evolutionary potential. All three modes are being used by perennial plants. Apomixis is another way of asexual reproduction. The sexual life cycle of vascular plants follows haploid and diploid generations in an alternate fashion. Haploid spores are produced by diploid sporophytes through meiosis. Haploid egg and sperm are produced by gametophytes through mitosis. Egg and sperm unite to form diploid zygotes from which new sporophytes develop. When offspring are produced through modifications of the sexual life cycle avoiding meiosis and syngamy, the process is asexual reproduction.