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see parthenogenesisparthenogenesis
[Gr.,=virgin birth], in biology, a form of reproduction in which the ovum develops into a new individual without fertilization. Natural parthenogenesis has been observed in many lower animals (it is characteristic of the rotifers), especially insects, e.g.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the formation of fruits on a plant without fertilization. Such fruits usually are seedless or contain seeds without embryos. Parthenocarpy occurs in many cultivated plants, including grapes, apples, pears, squashes, cucumbers, tomatoes, mandarins, and bananas. In a number of cases, for example, in seedless grapes, parthenocarpy is a permanent varietal feature. Plants that develop only seedless fruits can reproduce only vegetatively—by layerage, cutting, or budding.

A distinction is made between vegetative, or autonomous, parthenocarpy and stimulated parthenocarpy. In the former, the fruits form without pollination; in the latter, the stigmata must be stimulated by foreign pollen in order to form fruit. Pollen from several varieties of apple is able to stimulate parthenocarpy in a number of pear varieties; potato pollen can stimulate parthenocarpy in tomato, while tomato pollen can stimulate the parthenocarpic formation of fruit in eggplant. At times, parthenocarpy is caused by traumatic, chemical, or thermal stimulation of the stigmata.

Induced parthenocarpy has acquired economic significance in the cultivation of tomatoes and cucumbers. Methods have been developed for spraying plants with weak chemical solutions to stimulate the abundant formation of pulpy, juicy, and tasty seedless fruit.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Production of fruit without fertilization.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Genetic analysis of growth regulator-induced parthenocarpy in Arabidopsis.
In the Tetoukabuto hybrid commercial planting, one of the techniques adopted to overcome the failures in the pollination process and to ensure the fruit development , using phytoregulators of the auxin group, which, when pulverized in the flower, ensure the formation of the fruit by the process called parthenocarpy, without pollination requirement.
Pauwels E, Eyssen R, Keulemans J (1999) Parthenocarpy and apple breeding.
parthenocarpy The initiation of fruit-set without pollination.
Parthenocarpy is said to occur (Baker, 1976; Bawa, 1983).
Parthenocarpy and self and cross-incompatibility in ten european pear cultivars.