Many protists reproduce asexually. During binary fission, a single protist cell divides into two cells. Some protists reproduce by multiple fission, a form of cell division that produces more than two offspring. Both types of fission produce offspring that are genetically identical to the parent cell.

One way by which many protists reproduce sexually is conjugation. During conjugation, two individuals join and exchange genetic material stored in a small second nucleus. Then, the cells divide to produce four offspring. The offspring are genetically different from the parent cells. As shown in Figure 25-3, many protists can reproduce both asexually and sexually.

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