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Some bacteria use conjugation to transfer genetic material between cells; while not the same as sexual reproduction, this also results in the mixture of genetic traits.
The defining characteristic of sexual reproduction in eukaryotes is the difference between the gametes and the binary nature of fertilization.
Sexual reproduction in eukaryotes is a process whereby organisms form offspring that combine genetic traits from both parents.
Chromosomes are passed on from one generation to the next in this process.
This mode of reproduction is called asexual, and it is still used by many species, particularly unicellular, but it is also very common in multicellular organisms.
In sexual reproduction, the genetic material of the offspring comes from two different individuals.
This double-chromosome stage is called "diploid", while the single-chromosome stage is "haploid".
Diploid organisms can, in turn, form haploid cells (gametes) that randomly contain one of each of the chromosome pairs, via meiosis.
A paper from 2004 compared the chicken Z chromosome with platypus X chromosomes and suggested that the two systems are related.
The resulting cells are called gametes, and contain only half the genetic material of the parent cells.
These gametes are the cells that are prepared for the sexual reproduction of the organism.
Each cell in the offspring has half the chromosomes of the mother and half of the father.
Genetic traits are contained within the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of chromosomes—by combining one of each type of chromosomes from each parent, an organism is formed containing a doubled set of chromosomes.