ascus Structure produced by sac fungi in which sexual ascospores develop. asexual reproduction A method of reproduction in which genetically identical offspring are produced from a single parent; occurs by many mechanisms, including fission, budding, and fragmentation. assortment A way in which meiosis produces new combinations of genetic information. Paternal and maternal chromosomes line up randomly during synapsis , so each daughter cell is likely to receive an assortment of maternal and paternal chromosomes rather than a complete set from either. aster Short fibers produced by cells during mitosis and meiosis . These radiate from the centriole (if it is present). asteroid impacts Hypothesis that links certain mass extinction events with the impact of a comet or asteroid, most notably the mass extinction 65 million years that caused the disappearance of dinosaurs and many other reptilian groups. Asteroid impacts early in earth history also contributed to the formation of the atmosphere and oceans.
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