Microbial Reproduction and Growth Reproduction patterns. During their growth cycles, microorganisms undergo reproduction many times, causing the numbers in the population to increase dramatically. In fungi, unicellular algae, and protozoa, reproduction involves a duplication of the nucleus through the asexual process of mitosis and a splitting of the cell in cytokinesis. Reproduction can also occur by a sexual process in which haploid nuclei unite to form a diploid cell having two sets of chromosomes. Various changes then follow to yield a sexually produced offspring. Sexual reproduction has the advantage of mixing chromosomes to obtain genetic variations not possible with asexual reproduction. However, fewer individuals normally result from sexual reproduction than from asexual reproduction. More details on these methods are provided in the chapters on fungi and
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