What is Parthenogenesis?

parthenogenesis [Greek for virgin birth], in biology, a form of asexual reproduction in which the ovum develops into a new individual without fertilization

                 -The Colombia Encyclopedia


Asexual Reproduction

“Asexual reproduction occurs when an individual produces new individuals that are genetically identical to the ancestor at all loci in the genome, except at those sites that have experienced somatic mutations.  Asexual reproduction is synonymous to clonal reproduction.” (de Meeus, et. al., 2007).

                 -only needs one parent

                 -does not involve meiosis (or fertilization)

                 -fertilization occurs without males

                 -offspring may have genetically unique siblings,                  however they will not be genetically  identical

                 -offspring are produced by mitosis







































Does Virgin Birth Exist?



Sexual Reproduction

                 -requires the involvement of two individuals

                 -involves meiosis to halve the number of chromosomes, and fertilization of the gametes

                 In the first stage of sexual reproduction, 'meiosis', the number of chromosomes is reduced from a diploid number (2n) to a haploid number (n). During 'fertilization', haploid gametes come together to form a diploid zygote and the original number of chromosomes (2n) is restored.