What Is Parthenocarpy?

Parthenogenesis is the term used to define asexual reproduction, which means that an organism reproduces without any help from another organism. The word comes from Greek words meaning “without seed” or “unborn”.

The first recorded use of the word was in 1834 when it appeared in a book called A Treatise On Botany By William Buckland (1811–1864). Since then, scientists have been studying the phenomenon of parthenogenesis ever since.

In order to reproduce sexually, organisms must mate with each other in some way. For instance, plants need pollination from insects such as bees or butterflies for their growth. Animals such as birds and fish require fertilization by a male’s seminal fluid or eggs produced by females for their development into adults. However, these processes are not always successful due to environmental factors like temperature changes or lack of nutrients.

Another option for animals is to produce offspring through parthenogenesis. This occurs when one animal mates with itself. The resulting egg or embryo will develop normally, but it will never become a normal adult because the parent does not have the genetic material necessary to do so. Instead, they are considered sterile.

How Does Parthenogenesis Work?

Parthenogenesis works by allowing an organism to reproduce without having sexual contact with another organism. Instead, the egg cell is activated by itself and it divides and develops into another individual of the same species. The offspring will be a clone of the parent organism.

Another process of parthenogenesis is arrhenotokous. In this instance, an unfertilized egg cell divides to develop into a male individual. Fertilization is possible with the male organism’s chromosomes, but the offspring will not be able to reproduce.

Sources & references used in this article:

Parthenocarpy by A Spena, GL Rotino – Current trends in the embryology of angiosperms, 2001 – Springer

Evidence for a factor which prevents the development of parthenocarpic fruits in the strawberry by PA Thompson – Journal of Experimental Botany, 1961 – academic.oup.com

Parthenocarpic fruits induced by spraying with growth promoting compounds by FE Gardner, PC Marth – Botanical Gazette, 1937 – journals.uchicago.edu

Re‐evaluating strategies for pollinator‐dependent crops: How useful is parthenocarpy? by JL Knapp, LJ Bartlett, JL Osborne – Journal of Applied Ecology, 2017 – Wiley Online Library

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