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Source-This post on Parthenogenesis has been created based on the article “Why it matters that scientists modified a ‘sexual’ fruit fly to be asexual” published in “The Hindu” on 11 March 2024.

Why in the news?

Researchers have achieved a significant breakthrough by engineering a sexually reproducing fruit-fly species to reproduce asexually.

What is Parthenogenesis?

It refers to the process of reproduction without fertilization by males, resulting in offsprings derived from unfertilized eggs.

Source-The Hindu

Facultative Parthenogenesis– When organisms can give birth both sexually as well as asexually, then this process is known as facultative parthenogenesis. For ex- Few organisms such as crayfish, snakes, komodo dragons and sharks can reproduce sexually as well as asexually, exhibiting facultative parthenogenesis.

Some species, such as Drosophila mangebeirai and Drosophila mercatorum, exhibit facultative parthenogenesis, where isolated virgin females can produce offspring without mating.

What is the significance of Parthenogenesis?

1) It is a type of adaptive strategy to reproduce when environmental conditions are not proper and sexual reproduction is not possible.

2) It allows the species to continue thriving and multiplying in some environments where there is less male population.

3) It enables sex determination in some organisms like wasps, bees.

4) It is the simplest, most stable and easy process of reproduction.

5) It supports the chromosomal theory of inheritance, which proves that chromosomes are the vehicles of genetic heredity.

6) Advantageous mutant characters may develop through this method of reproduction.

Read more-Transgenic crops in India

UPSC Syllabus-Science & technology.

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