Apomixis

Definition

noun, plural: apomixes

(1) A type of asexual reproduction without fertilization

(2) A type of asexual reproduction that does not involve meiosis


Supplement

Asexual reproduction is a type of reproduction wherein the offspring comes not from the union of gametes but from other means. There are different means of asexual reproduction and apomixes is one of them.

Apomixis is an asexual reproduction that occurs without fertilization and not involving meiosis. One example of apomixis is the apomictic parthenogenesis. It its one in which the egg cell is produced through mitosis. It then develops directly into an embryo without the prior fertilization. The offspring from apomictic parthenogenesis would therefore be full clones of the maternal parent. The apomictic parthenogenesis is in contrast to another form of parthenogenesis, which is automictic parthenogenesis. The latter involves meiotic division and therefore produces haploid gametes. The resulting offspring would therefore be half clones of the mother in contrast to the offspring of apomictic parthenogenesis that are full clones of the mother.

Apomixis is more common in plants. In flowering plants, in particular, the cells of the gametophyte are capable of apomixis. Other forms of apomixes in plants include the replacement of seed by a plantlet and the replacement of the flower by bulbis.


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