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Difference Between Parthenocarpy And Parthenogenesis

Difference Between Parthenocarpy And Parthenogenesis

Fertilisation is a significant process for all living things, like plants and animals, for developing or producing a new one of its kind. However, there are certain plants and animals that function without the process of fertilisation. Parthenocarpy and Parthenogenesis are alternative reproduction methods for the production or development of new fruit or organism without fertilisation, respectively.

Table of Contents:

  • What is Parthenocarpy?
    • Types of Parthenocarpy
    • Advantages of Parthenocarpy
  • What is Parthenogenesis?
    • Types of Parthenogenesis
    • Advantages of Parthenogenesis
  • Difference between Parthenocarpy and Parthenogenesis
  • Practice Problems
  • Frequently Asked Questions

What is Parthenocarpy?

A fruit is developed from a flower which contains female and male reproductive parts of the plant. Once fertilisation is completed, the ovary develops into a fruit or the plump, juicy part, and the ova becomes the seed of the fruit. 

In 1902, the process of Parthenocarpy was developed. Parthenocarpy is the process of natural or artificial production of fruit without the process of fertilisation. It leads to the maturation of ovaries without fertilisation. It is unisexual reproduction. Thus the fruits lack embryo and endosperm, which results in the absence of seeds in the fruit. 

Some examples of parthenocarpic fruits are bananas, cucumber, and pineapple, which have gibberellic acid that leads to the reproduction of seedless pulpy fruit without fertilisation. They are also called virgin fruits.

Types of Parthenocarpy

There are three types of parthenocarpy. They are given below:

  • Vegetative parthenocarpy: This process takes place without pollination. Therefore it results in the absence of a seed within a seed. It can be evidently seen in fruits like figs and pears.
  • Stimulative parthenocarpy: It occurs when the ovipositor wasp is inserted into the ovary of a flower. It can also occur by plant growth regulators, which are seen in the syconium of unisexual flowers.
  • Stenospermocarpy: This type is unique, in which fertilisation takes place, and the seed is also formed, but it is aborted finally. It is found in seedless watermelons and grapes.

Advantages of Parthenocarpy

  • Parthenocarpy reduces the cost of cultivation.
  • It produces quality improvement with seedless fruit.
  • Fruit production can be achieved easily by a healthy process.
  • Increase in the crop yield without chemicals or inorganic fertilisers and pesticides. The plants are protected by pesticides.
  • Large fruits are produced because of the natural plant growth regulators.

What is Parthenogenesis?

Parthenogenesis refers to the process of formation or development of an organism without fertilisation of an ovum. The embryo is formed directly from the egg without fertilisation. It occurs in animals and some plant species. It can also produce no sex chromosomes. Apomixis refers to the formation of seeds in plants in the absence of fertilisation. 

It is also known as asexual reproduction because male and female gametes are formed; however, fusion doesn’t take place. It occurs in invertebrates and lower plants. The offspring produced is identical to the female organism and is called haploid. They cannot reproduce in sexual procedures.

Types of Parthenogenesis

There are two types of parthenogenesis. They are given below:

  • Natural Parthenogenesis: Parthenogenesis process takes place naturally in some organisms. It is a constant natural process found in bees. The unfertilised egg of queen bees is naturally developed into drone bees that have a haploid set of chromosomes. It is divided into two complete and incomplete processes.
  • Artificial Parthenogenesis: Parthenogenesis can be stimulated artificially in animals and plants for the reproduction of identical offspring. The fertilised egg is developed by different physical and chemical methods. It is mostly a haploid or clone of a female. 

Advantages of Parthenogenesis

  • Parthenogenesis is time and energy-saving as the female doesn’t require a male counterpart for reproduction.
  • Reproduction in parthenogens is faster compared to reproduction by sexual methods. This can increase the population rate.
  • Reproduction can be easily done in case of scarcity as females have no effort to find male counterparts.
  • This method can increase genetic stability as the organisms created carry genetic information from the individual instead of two organisms (male and female).
  • It promotes medical research.

Difference between Parthenocarpy and Parthenogenesis



Fruit developed without fertilisation.

A new organism is developed without fertilisation of an ovum.

Production of seedless fruit.

Offsprings are female cloned and cannot reproduce sexually.

No production of offspring.

Production of haploid offsprings

Takes place in plants.

Takes place in invertebrates and some plants.

Example: Watermelon, banana, pineapple, etc. 

Example: bees, lizards, sharks, etc.

Practice Problems

Q1. Which of the following refers to the formation of seeds in plants?

A. Ovulation
B. Apomixis 
C. Reproduction
D. None of the above

Answer: B. Apomixis 

Explanation: Apomixis refers to the formation of seeds in plants, in the absence of fertilisation.

Q2. Which of the following is not a parthenocarpic fruit?

A. Mango
B. Banana
C. Watermelon
D. Cucumber

Answer: A. Mango

Explanation: Mango is not a parthenocarpic fruit due to the presence of seed in it.

Q3. In which of the following the seed is aborted after fertilisation?

A. Vegetative parthenocarpy
B. Stimulative parthenocarpy
C. Stenospermocarpy
D. None of the above

Answer: C. Stenospermocarpy

Explanation: Stenospermocarpy is unique, in which fertilisation takes place, and the seed is also formed, but it is aborted finally. It is found in seedless watermelons and grapes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is asexual reproduction?
Answer: Asexual reproduction refers to the production of new offspring by an individual without the fusion of gametes or the exchange of genetic material.

Q2. What is an embryo?
Answer: Embryo refers to the initial development of a multicellular organism. The embryo further develops into offspring after fertilisation.

Q3. What is fertilisation?
Answer: Fertilisation is the process of fusion of male and female gamete to form the zygote, which later develops into an embryo.

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