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Difference between Parthenocarpy and Parthenogenesis

Parthenocarpy and Parthenogenesis refer to an alternative method of reproduction, where fertilization does not occur. Parthenocarpy leads to the development of fruits without seeds. Parthenogenesis occurs in animals, where an unfertilized ovum develops into a new individual, which is a clone of a female and mostly haploid.

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Difference between Parthenocarpy and Parthenogenesis

The table below shows the main difference between Parthenocarpy and Parthenogenesis

Parthenocarpy Parthenogenesis
Development of fruit without prior fertilization Development of a new organism without fertilization of an ovum
Seedless fruits are produced Organisms produced are a female clone and cannot reproduce sexually
Offsprings are not produced Haploid offsprings are produced
Occurs only in plants Occurs in invertebrate animals and lower plants
Examples: banana, watermelon, pineapple, etc. Examples: insects, lizards, etc.

What is Parthenogenesis?

Parthenogenesis is the process of development of a new individual without fertilization of an ovum.

  • Occurs in invertebrates and some lower plants
  • Male and female gametes are formed but fusion does not take place so it can be termed as incomplete sexual or asexual reproduction
  • The resulting offspring is haploid and identical to the female organism. They cannot reproduce sexually
  • Natural parthenogenesis occurs in queen bee. The unfertilised egg of queen bee develops into male drones, which have a haploid set of chromosomes
  • Parthenogenesis can be stimulated artificially in mammals to produce identical offspring

What is Parthenocarpy?

Parthenocarpy is the process of formation of fruit without fertilization. Fruits produced thus are seedless

  • Occurs in plants
  • Parthenogenesis can be stimulative or vegetative. Parthenogenesis occurs when there is less availability of functional eggs or sperms or when pollination fails to occur
  • Farmers use this process to prepare seedless fruits, e.g. watermelon, oranges. Seedless fruits have more shelf life and are preferred by customers

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