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parthenogenesis




In biological reproduction, the development of a female sex cell or gamete without fertilization. Since there is no involvement of a male gamete, it leads to the production of offspring that are genetically identical to the mother. Parthenogenesis, sometimes popularly termed virgin birth, produces little variation and occurs naturally among some invertebrate animals, such as aphids and bees. The same process occurs in a few plants, such as dandelions, and is then termed parthenocarpy.


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