parthanogenesis

James Loats loats1 at husc9.harvard.edu
Wed Oct 6 16:18:02 EST 1993


johnreed at stein1.u.washington.edu (John Reed) writes:
>I am interest in knowing whether parthanogenesis has evolved in the male 
>sex of any species.  I would presume not, for evolutionary reasons, but I 
>would like to know for sure.  I would also like to know other peoples 
>opinions as to why this has not occured.  

Well, my own opinion as to why this has/would not occur is more for
physiological than "evolutionary" reasons:  males don't do parthenogenesis
because if they did, they'd be called females.  My understanding is that
"male" and "female" are defined in general by the relative motility of
their gametes (i.e. "sperm/pollen" are motile, "eggs/ova" are not), and
consequently, in those species which "give birth", by who bears the young
or lays the egg.

>My last question is simply: in 
>what types of organisms does parthanogenesis occur?  I know it occurs in 
>insects, what about other arthropods, plants (I believe it does), other 
>animals, fungi?  Thanks for any replies.

As far as plants go, I think the runners that plants such as strawberries
and (I think?) grasses put forth by way of asexual reproduction are
considered a form of parthenogenesis.  There is also a species of lizard
that parthenogeneses (would that be the verb form?).  Probably there are
more but I don't know of any.

>--------------------------------------------------------------------------
>John Reed


--jim

-- 
Jim Loats                   * "I pass the test.  I shall diminish,
loats1 at husc.harvard.edu     *  and go into the West, and remain
Bacterial Motor Works--the  *  Galadriel."
Ultimate Swimming Machine!  *             -- J.R.R. Tolkien



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